Reading Rockets recommends the following books by Bill Martin Jr.
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?
With the cadence, format, and appeal of the creators' Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, animals found in North America are introduced. From a rattlesnake to a mountain goat, children will delight in the rhythm and predictability of the text and the cadence of the illustrations.
On a special, magical, moonlit evening, an old barn springs to life. The scarecrow picks up a fiddle and starts to play, signaling the beginning of the dance. Lively language and dramatic, animated illustrations together portray this thrilling occasion.
Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3
From one to one hundred, the numbers (differentiated by their vibrant colors) go up – and ultimately down – the apple tree in this lively and worthy counting companion to Chicka Chicka ABC. The role of zero (0) creates tension ("Will there be a place for me?") and finally a celebration!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Naughty lowercase letters climb the coconut tree but when little Z gets to the top, they all go BOOM to the bottom. After a rescue by grown-up letters (all uppercase), it all seems to start again. Humor, crisp illustration and rhythm make this alphabetic adventure a classic.
Here Are My Hands
Children will repeat the lively, predictable, and engaging rhyme that fills this book. The text heightens awareness of the parts of the body, from head to toe, and what each can do. Crisp, realistic illustrations make this ideal for sharing and acting out with young children.
Listen to the Rain
The many moods of rain from angry thunderstorms to the quiet dripping that follows are conveyed in alliterative, onomatopoeic, and captivating language. The poetic text is accompanied by evocative watercolor illustrations often extending over double pages.
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
A familiar cadence introduces ten animals that are all endangered. The book ends with a child dreaming of seeing all the animals "wild and free." This appealing book can be shared for its boldly illustrated rhyme or to launch awareness of a complex topic.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Large, richly colored illustrations accompany the jaunty text in the pattern of Brown Bear…. This book depicts a group that visits the zoo and listens to the sounds that different animals make. Young children will want to join in the fun and make the animal sounds, too.
Spunky Little Monkey
When a concerned Mama calls the doctor about her sleepy little monkey, the doctor prescribed rhythmic movement from head to toe! Rhyming, rhythmic language describe lively activities demonstrated by a colorful little monkey who claps, stomps, shakes, and more in this engaging, playful jaunt.
The Ghost-Eye Tree
Two children leave their cozy home to fetch milk on a cold and windy evening. When the brother loses his much-prized hat, it is his sister who returns to the spooky old ghost eye tree they pass. Light is effectively used in dramatic watercolor illustrations that accompany the lively text, which is ideal for reading aloud.
Up and Down on the Merry-Go-Round
The animated adventure begins when a diverse group of children mount their trusty steeds and the merry-go-round begins to move. Language and illustrations swirl and shift rhythmically on this spirited jaunt.
White Dynamite and Curly Kidd
This rollicking good tale of a boy who fears for his father’s safety as he prepares to ride the meanest bull in the whole United States is told in energetic language and illustrations that bounce across the pages. The rhythm of the text reads well aloud and the watercolors invite many close examinations.
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