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Learn about children’s book author Bill Martin Jr.

learning about bill martin jr

Bill Martin Jr. is this month’s Virtual Book Club author, and the kids and I enjoyed learning more about him! The Bill Martin Jr Big Book of Poetry is one of my favorite poetry collections for children, so it was neat to learn that Bill Martin Jr. learned to read thanks to a college poetry class. No wonder he was so passionate about sharing poetry with children! My daughter Emma loves reading poetry, and at the age of seven she finds name poems very satisfying to write – and they make great gifts!

I was introduced to this delightful author when my grandmother sent a copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? to my younger sister as a Christmas gift in 1987! It was an instant hit, and remains a favorite both of mine and my children – we brought both it and four-year-old Lily’s favorite, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? along on our road trip! I only recently discovered Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?, and we need to get a copy to add to our collection. We love to read the books along with our collection of small animals. My kids adore dogs, so we need to find a copy of Caddie the Golf Dog to read together!

We don’t do a lot of book crafts in our house, but here are a few ways we enjoy reading the Brown Bear series books together:

  • Have toddlers and preschoolers “read” the portions of the text that are repeated on each page
  • Act out the stories with small animals
  • Have pre-reading children see if they can remember which animal comes next for each page!

You can find many more wonderful activities for these books at illustrator Eric Carle’s website!

Do you have a favorite Bill Martin Jr. book?


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Check out what others did to celebrate Bill Martin Jr. below:

October’s author is Nick Sharratt, and, incredibly (given the number of library books we bring home each week), I don’t think we have read any of his books! Which one(s) do you recommend that we read first?


MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

14 thoughts on “Learn about children’s book author Bill Martin Jr.”

  1. When daughter was younger, we really liked These Are My Hands. And we adore Big Book of Poetry. It’s great that you took favorite books on your road trip!

  2. Hmmmm….. I do, and now I’m copletely forgetting its’ name. I got to see him at a teaching conference around when one of his books came out, I think it was “Adam, Adam what do you see?” I can’t keep the titles straight on that series anymore.

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