We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

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We're Going on a Bear HuntWe’re Going on a Bear Hunt‘ is a lovely story book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Essentially it tells the story of a family (Dad and three children) going to look for a bear. this is not an easy task as they have to go through grass, a river, a forest, mud and a snowstorm until eventually that arrive at a cave where they find a bear. They have been really brave throughout their adventure but… when they come face to face with the bear they suddenly discover they are not so brave and have to retrace their steps VERY quickly!! Finally they arrive back at their home, run upstairs and hide under the covers where they are safe!

Both my daughters love this book because although it is a simple storyline there is so much in it. My daughters love the repetitive language because they know it so well and are able to join in.

On a number of pages you read:

We’re going on a bear hunt.
We’re going to catch a big one.
What a beautiful day.
We’re not scared!

My daughters love joining in with this and know the words so well that when we are out walking through our local country park and walking through the grass and the trees they recite it and act out the story!

As I said before, the family come across numerous obstacles on their quest. Each time they meet one of these you read in the text:
Uh-uh!
and this is a good signal that something is going to be difficult! There is more repeated language:

We can’t go over it!
We can’t go under it!
We have to go through it!

Then we have lovely illustrations of the family wading through grass, mud, snow etc with some fantastic language to go with it – ‘swishy swashy’ to go through the grass, ‘squelch, squerch’ to go through the mud! My daughters love these words and they  enjoy language and making up other words as well!

Sometimes the text is written bigger or smaller or in capitals to provide greater emphasis and to add to the excitement. When the family finally meets the bear in the cave, in very large capitals you read ‘IT’S A BEAR!’

It especially helps them to discuss their feelings of fear and the things that might make them anxious!

When the family escapes from the bear the story is told in reverse but very quickly. My daughters love remembering and telling me the order of events and they are always very relieved when the family finally make it home safely!! (even though the bear is clamouring at the door!)

The illustrations are really lovely throughout (and a good talking point) but my favourite is the final picture of Dad and the three children huddled under a pink quilt with the caption in very large letters – ‘We’re not going on a bear hunt again!’

This is a lovely book to share with children with so much to talk about. It especially helps them to discuss their feelings of fear and the things that might make them anxious!

We’re Going on Bear Hunt’ is a lovely story book and I recommend it to all parents of young children!

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We're Going on a Bear Hunt
by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

2 Comments on "We’re Going on a Bear Hunt"

  1. Cheery Scientist
    08/01/2010 at 23:04 Permalink

    Just to add that this book can be a great introduction to (early) reading – the storyline is gripping :-), yet the words and sentences are simple. There was a sense of real achievement in my 5-year old when he read this whole ‘proper’ book all on his own!

  2. Jay
    27/11/2012 at 13:49 Permalink

    fyi, the paragraph ‘We can’t go over it!
    We can’t go under it!
    We have to go through it!’ should actually be ‘We can’t go over it!
    We can’t go under it!
    OH NO!
    We have to go through it!’
    nothing personal, just thought you should know the truth

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Written by kingfisher
kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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