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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Board book|Change
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This book deserves many more than five stars for its great ability to engage your child with books at a very young age! With this head start, you can expect to help nurture a lifelong love of books and reading.
Dr. Seuss must have known that children respond more to noises than to words. So this book emphasizes noises. It also provides a wonderful opportunity to act. The facial expressions, gestures, and body movements you make will create a strong impression. Soon your baby will begin to imitate the sounds. Imitating the word syllables and words is seldom far behind.
"Oh, the wonderful things
Mr. Brown can do!
He can go like a cow
He can go Moo Moo"
Sections all start off like that. Then they end with the encouragement to imitate:
"Mr. Brown can do it.
How about you?"
You can point to your child then, and repeat the sound with a nice smile.
Here are the animals or objects, and the sounds they make that are in the book:
bee -- "Buzz Buzz"
cork -- "Pop Pop"
horse feet -- "Klopp Klopp Klopp"
squeaky shoe -- "Eek Eek"
rooster -- "Cock a Doodle Doo"
owl -- "Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo"
rain -- "Dibble Dibble Dibble Dopp"
train -- "Choo Choo Choo Choo"
butterfly -- "Whisper Whisper"
horn -- "Blurp Blurp Blurp Blurp"
big cat drinking -- "Slurp Slurp Slurp Slurp"
clock -- "Tick Tock"
hand on a door -- "Knock Knock"
egg in frying pan -- "Sizzle Sizzle"
hippopotamus chewing gum -- "Grum Grum"
goldfish kiss -- "Pip!"
thunder -- "Boom Boom Boom"
lightning -- "Splatt Splatt Splatt"
The sounds are repeated as partial and total lists in several places. These repetitions can be made very humorous in your reading and cause gales of baby giggles.
Except for the lists, there is a beautiful large illustration to help your baby or child tie the sound to an animal or object.
A good way to enhance your baby's enjoyment of the book is to notice what sounds your baby seems to like already. For example, most babies like low, comfort sounds (in the moo moo range). You can add those sounds and your own drawings (or photographs) to go with them. You could have a refrigerator go Hum Hum Hum, or a car go Wrooom Wrooom. Your own ideas will be better than mine, I'm sure.
Have a wonderful time being a parent, and be sure to take the time to enjoy the pleasures of books like this one with your baby!
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on September 8, 2000
Dr. Seuss' original book is a wonderful, rhythmic book. That book is suggested for children four to eight years old. It is NOT the same as the Bright and Early Board Book which will pull the same reviews here on as the original book!
The board book is an abridged version of the Dr. Seuss favorite. It is not a bad book (my son has fun with the board book which he received as a gift and likes to hear grandma make the sounds Mr. Brown makes). However, it is in no way as detailed as the original (no gum-chewing hippo for example) and the rhythm doesn't quite "work" in some places ("...He can sound like a bee. Mr Brown can buzz. How about you? Can you buzz? ...").
If I could separate my reviews I would give the Bright and Early Board book Two Stars and the Dr. Seuss original Four Stars. Perhaps if I didn't know that the board book was abridged I'd give it a higher score, but if you wish to make the better purchase, I'd suggest you go with the original.
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HALL OF FAMEon April 21, 2004
In the old days it was Old MacDonald who had a farm and on this farm he had a cow, duck, and all sorts of other animals, each of which made a particular sound that can be imitated. But then along game Mr. Brown, a creation of Dr. Seuss, who makes Old MacDonald look like the strong silent type. That is because as we learn in "Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?: Dr. Seuss's Book of Wonderful Noises," Mr. Brown can do more than "moo" like a cow, "buzz" like a bee, and go "hoo hoo hoo hoo" like an owl. Mr. Brown can go "pop" like a cork, "eek eek" like a squeaky shoe, and even make the sound of a hippopotamus chewing gum.
I think one of the reasons this is a popular book with beginning readers is not only because kids enjoy making all these noises, but also because parents and other adults get to embarrass themselves in making the sounds on these pages come alive (or a reasonable facsimile thereof). Trying to make the sound of the rain or a big cat drinking is not too hard, but doing a very hard noise to make like the sound of lighting (which is a "splatt" apparently) or a noise like a goldfish kiss ("pip") might be pushing the envelope too much.
Of course, you can make up any sound you want when you are reading this to very young children. But you have to keep in mind that the whole point of these Bright and Early Books for Beginning Beginners is to inspire them to read on their own one day, which means you can look forward to being confronted by an indignant young child demanding to know how the noise you made every time you read them the book has anything to do with what is highlighted on these pages. So be forewarned, that sooner or later you are going to be embarrassed reading this book.
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on November 10, 2003
I don't think there's one Dr. Seuss book that I can't recall being read to me when I was somewhere in the under-10 age. Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? stands out in particular. How could a child forget the first time mom makes those delightful noises to go with the pictures in a book? It's the stuff of high comedy and intense interest to three-year-olds everywhere.
Mr. Brown is a funny little man dressed to the nines (in dapper brown of course) who can imitate all sorts of noises like a wiz. You'd better be prepared to go beyond barnyard animal sounds, too - lightening cracks, goldfish kisses, and a hippo chewing gum (which is GRUM GRUM, for those of you who don't know!). The book prompts children to try and match Mr. Brown's sounds in a nice, low-pressure way.
I'm not sure if this book has ever received official recognition for its educational value to young children, but as far as I'm concerned MBCMCY is a wonderful tool for teaching kids to be better observers, listeners, and responders to their surroundings. Better yet, it introduces parents to the fine art of interactive reading.
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on March 13, 2003
Welcome to the wonderful world of whimsical, wacky writing, and crazy, colorful caricatures - "He can sound like a clock, he can TICK, he can TOCK. He can sound like a hand on a door KNOCK, KNOCK." "Dr. Seuss's Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?" is an inspired introduction to sounds through rhyme and alliteration. The text, format, and images have been adapted from the original to accommodate board book standards; yet, the prose still flows.
I am flabbergasted by the lack of enthusiasm for the revised board book editions of Dr. Seuss's (and others) beginner books published by Random House. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to offer my infant son a CLASSIC narrative, by means of a board book, even in its ADAPTED form. These magical miniatures are entertaining for little babies, who enjoy the positive interaction of cooperative play through reading. The objectives of these small books are to appeal to newborns, and very young children with short attention spans who are not attentive enough for the full text versions, they are NOT meant to replace the originals. Moreover, these pocketsize gems are fashioned for effortless travel to the market, on a plane, in the car, or on a train. Hee, hee.
I own a lot of Dr. Seuss's first editions, in addition to a few of the board book volumes, and agree that the original "Bright and Early and the Beginner Books" are just that - ORIGINAL. They are more amusing, entertaining, and educational, but are in fact more appropriate for older children, 3 years and older. I believe introducing infants to creative works, such as these, only encourages listening and learning from an earlier age. In summary, if your child is two or older purchase an original version, otherwise think of introducing your infant to the shorter, travel-anywhere format, and procure the original at a later date? The marvelous, magical magician, who was Dr. Seuss is worth it! Birth and up.
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on February 23, 2003
This review refers to the Bright and Early Board books edition (not to be confused with "Bright and Early Books") Random House has taken a great idea - publishing rugged, kid-friendly editions of childhood favorites - and turned it into an obscenity. In the process of "adapting" these books to the kid-friendly formula, they appear to have edited out much of the original charm and wit....not to mention size!
Disturbingly, the fact that these books are adaptations rather than originals is not clearly stated on the front cover, by the author's name. Instead, one has to look at the fine print on the inside of the front cover. One suspects that Random House feels these "Bright and Early Editions" wouldn't sell half as well if they were a little more forthcoming about what they have done.
It is truly sad to see that these books have been subjected to editing by Philistines who operate under the false illusion that what form a book comes in is more important than what is written within. We all want durable editions of books that can stand up to little hands. But the CONTENT of childhood classics has already survived the test of time; these books don't need to be re-edited, re-arranged, abridged, or adultered. SHAME ON YOU, Random House!!!
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on December 12, 2001
My son (now 3) is speech-delayed, and this is one of the first books that actually had him talking along! I would read, "Oh, the wonderful sounds Mr. Brown can do. He can sound like a cow, he can go..." and my son at 2 would yell "MOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" and do the same with the other sounds! It ENCOURAGES your child to speak by having them make some silly sounds! We even came up with hand gestures for several of the sounds to supplement my son's sign language (ASL) he used at the time. We read this book every night at least 4 times before bed. As his speech flourished (yay!), he began to want to say more of the words himself (we've memorized the book - not hard, and very fun to recite when waiting in lines, etc, heeheehee). Then, we bought him the Dr. Seuss video of ABCs, which has this book's "video" at the end. He watches the video with this book in hand, although the video has a few more sounds (I think this board book is a bit abridged, but not too much), and is now learning to read with the video/board book combination! I am HIGHLY pleased with this book, from it's hilarious illustrations (see lightning/thunder page) to it's musical cadence and silly sounds - it helped my son realize sounds can be fun and silly and encouraged him to play with them when speech was so frustrating for him at the time.
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on July 13, 2001
Mr. Brown can moo, whisper, buzz, and boom . . . and that's just for starters. There are about a dozen different sounds to make along with Mr. Brown and all the sounds bear a pretty close resemblance to the originals (bees buzz, cows moo, thunder booms, etc.) with a few creative interpretations. Okay, so your child may be the only one saying "dibble-dibble-dibble dopp-dopp-dopp" for rain, instead of maybe "pitter-patter. The pictures are simple - pretty much just Mr. Brown and each animal or item - no extraneous background drawings. My 2-year old daughter's favorite part of the book is the last page, where they list all the sounds in the book. Moo moo, buzz buzz, pop pop, klopp, and so on. She likes to try and repeat them with me really fast. Try adding some action along with the words, put all the tips of your fingers together to make a bee, rap on the book for a knock, put a finger to your lips for a whisper, etc. Oh, never mind reading all the reviews. It's a good book! Just buy it !
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on May 27, 2003
This bright and early board book is an abridged edition of a Dr. Seuss classic. The intent seems to have been to create an infant and toddler friendly edition of the book. Unfortunately, the editing was done very poorly. Much of what children seem to perceive at this age is "rhythm and rhyme" - the musicality of spoken language, if you will - not necessarily the story or the words themselves. In the editing process, much of the special "rhythm and rhyme" that makes Dr. Seuss so special was garbled. While some of the "noises" are still fun, much has been lost and this edition isn't half as good as the unabridged (non-board book) version.
If you are looking for a book of "wonderful noises" for young children in a board book format, a better bet would be Sandra Boynton's "Moo Baa La La La" (published by Simon and Schuster and available on Or, wait until your child is a little older and purchase the unedited Dr. Seuss (also available on
Incidentally, Random House decided to publish this edition without acknowledging the fact that it is an abridgement, in clear lettering, on the front outer cover . Other of this company's board books reportedly share the same problem. The legalities notwithstanding, this is certainly a misleading practice, if not outright unethical. Wake up, Random House!
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on November 4, 2002
Be warned! These "Board Books" are not the same as the original versions of the Dr. Seuss classics, but are instead slightly changed versions of the same stories. The normal Dr. Seuss books flow extremely well, provide interesting stories, and have beautiful cadence. These "Board Books" illustrate very effectively why there was only one Dr. Seuss -- basically, the modifications that have been made to the stories make them much less compelling and educational. In particular, the rhyming is never as good, and the meter is non-existent. I will grant that the "Board Book" style is much more durable, as our child has torn a number of the classic Mr. Brown pages. That having been said, I would still encourage you to buy the classic version of Mr. Brown instead of this one; it's ISBN number is 0394806220.
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