Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is written by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame. Where The Very Hungry Caterpillar features rich, lush illustrations of a caterpillar’s journey to become a butterfly (and some excellent holes as he eats through everything from a strawberry to an ice cream cone) that are too busy for Peanut’s eyes, Brown Bear, Brown Bear features Carle’s illustrations in simple, high-contrast illustrations. If you like Carle’s work, this is a great book to share with your vision-impaired toddler.
Better yet, this book is apparently available in every format imaginable. Our copy is a twin-vision board book that was given to us through Seedlings’ Book Angel Program; our librarian has an enormous copy (and I mean enormous–it’s easily the size of at least two 8.5×11″ sheets of paper, and probably larger) that she uses during story time; there’s a sung version of it that she uses along with the book at story time that Peanut absolutely loves; and there’s more than likely additional formats out there that I haven’t even considered. If you’re willing to put some time into looking for it, I’m sure there’s a copy of this book out there that will meet your little one’s needs.
There are ten animals featured in Brown Bear, including a brown bear, a red bird, a yellow duck, a blue horse, a green frog, a purple cat, a white dog, a black sheep and a goldfish. At the end, there is a teacher and her students (children). All of the pictures are single images on high-contrast backgrounds (the white dog is on a black background, which makes him easy to see), except for the children and the last, summary, page of the book. It’s a quick, easy read, a recognized classic, and a book that your child is sure to love. My only complaint about my twin-vision copy is that the braille is by page on the last section of the book, where the animals are meant to be read in the order they were presented in the book (which would mean reading across the two pages rather than page-by-page); even so, this is a fairly minor complaint about a format that makes the book accessible, regardless of one’s vision.
You can get a twin-vision copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? at Seedlings:
Board book (like photos above), $7, http://www.seedlings.org/details.php?id=379&cat=0&search=Brown%20Bear
You can get the book in a variety of formats from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture-Book Art (I had no idea it existed–road trip!) here:
Note–although the site above says that some copies are bigger than others, it doesn’t give actual dimensions. You might want to call or email to find out how big “big” is before buying.