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Oh, A-Hunting We Will Go

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Oh, a-hunting we will go,
A-hunting we will go;
We'll catch a fox and put him in a box,
And then we'll let him go! So begins this rollicking folk song that has delighted generations of children and inspired them to make up their own verses. John Langstaff has selected some of the most popular stanzas, both old and new, that are sure to bring out smiles and giggles. Nancy Winslow Parker's pictures join in the fun as a band of intrepid children hunt for the fox, a skunk, and even a brontosaurus with wildly silly results.
Piano and guitar accompaniment are provided so grown-ups can sing along, too. The playful mood of the words, music, and pictures is infectious -- you may even decide to add new verses of your own!

32 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1974

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John Langstaff

48 books5 followers

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5 stars
37 (37%)
4 stars
35 (35%)
3 stars
22 (22%)
2 stars
6 (6%)
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Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,124 reviews104 followers
January 25, 2020
Although I do indeed much appreciate that ALL of the animals stalked and caught in John Langstaff's Oh, A-Hunting We Will Go adaptation are released (and that in the end, everything is actually portrayed as having been entirely make-believe anyhow), on an purely personal level, I do rather consider the whole concept of a group of youngsters basically hunting and apprehending diverse animals as some kind of a fun and diverting pastime and sport as at best more than a bit troubling (and while the intended audience, while young children might well laugh with glee at the irrationality and the fun rhyming sequences of the presented lyrics, of for example putting a whale in a pail, placing a bear in underwear and a skunk into a bunk, as an adult reader who is generally rather against hunting except for basic sustenance, the entire song sequence of Oh, A-Hunting We will Go actually does kind of if not even totally rub me the wrong way). And no, Nancy Winslow Parker's accompanying illustrations also do not much help. For while they are definitely descriptive, expressive, bright and cheerful, they are also entirely too cartoon-like for my personal tastes (and the boxed in fox watching TV and the pig wearing a for all intents and purposes French looking hair whig, while I guess that probably these images might indeed be visually appealing to and for the intended audience, they do leave me rather cold and not all that aesthetically satisfied, not to mention also annoyed at Nancy Winslow Parker’s illustrated silliness). But the above having all been said, and especially my personal issues with the depiction of hunting as something fun and entertaining notwithstanding, I was indeed still rather intent and even planning on giving Oh, A-Hunting We Will Go a low and perhaps also bit grudging three star rating until I noticed that unlike many of John Langstaff's other folksong adaptations, while there is an appreciated musical score provided, no further supplemental information on either the genesis of the original song or its development, proliferation and transmission have been provided (and this being enough of a disappointment and folkloric shortcoming for me to now only consider and give but a two star rating to Oh, A-Hu(ting We Will Go).
31 reviews
November 13, 2009
Predictable beginning reader books, such as Oh A-Hunting We Will Go by John Langstaff and pictures by Nancy Winslow Parke used an old folk song and made some changes in the lyrics to write about kids who travel around and find different animals to put in various places. It had repetitive lines on each page, which were, “Oh, a-hunting we will go, A-hunting we will go; We’ll catch a ____. And put him in a ____, And then well let him go!” The blanks served as changes within the text (type of animal that was caught and the other blank was the place the children put the animal in, which happened to be a word that also rhymed with the animal). As a result of the repetitiveness and predictability of the text, it helps children to learn to read more easily and build self-confidence in their reading skills, allowing them to focus on a few words at a time.

The back of the book includes a music sheet version of the story, allowing kids, if they want to, to play it on their instrument or sing it aloud. There is also a lot of humor in the wording and drawings for the book. For example, on page 8, the bear is placed in underwear and a whale is put in a pail. There is also a fox sitting in a box watching TV (2) and a skunk laying on a bunk bed with the kids under him covering their noses with a cloth (18)The writing and drawings of reflective of the silly humor that younger kids have, which will make them laugh.

All the pictures are drawn with a dark black utensil and colored in with crayons, similar to how kids color a book. Also, the pictures are placed in a box on the top middle section of the book, whereas, the writing is placed in another box at the bottom, kind of similar to the format of some of the sentence/picture worksheets students in elementary school receive in class. All of this helps to create the feeling as though this book was written by kids like them.

This book is a simple read, so all the parts can be read in class to students to help them understand the repetitive nature of the story. The book would be good to use with preschoolers, kindergarteners, or first graders. It would be fun to have students all sing-a-long to it for the second reading, as they would be more familiar with the pattern of the book. A music teacher could easily incorporate the use of singing the song, reading music notes, and the book to further promote reading literacy and music together. In addition, this book is also a good way to introduce spelling or vocabulary words, such as pale and whale or to learn about rhyming.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Judy.
3,095 reviews54 followers
February 8, 2017
I'd forgotten all about this folk song, so I haven't passed it on to any of the kids. I hope this prompts my memory. The art isn't wonderful, but it works.

The first verse in this book reads:
Oh, a-hunting we well go,
A-hunting we will go;
We'll catch a fox
and put him in a box,
And then we'll let him go!

Yep. That's the updated version. The last line I used to sing was ...
And never let him go!

Nonsensical, of course. I don't remember ever being disturbed by the thought of boxing up animals.
Profile Image for Kelly Borton.
30 reviews
March 12, 2014
This is a classic folk lyric that I remember as a child. John Langstaff has incorporated the same verse with new animals and rhyme. It's fun and humorous while visualizing and creating silly rhymes. For example, "catching a bear and putting him in his underwear." The illustrations are simple, childlike and complement the verse it represents. In addition to his twist on this popular lyric, the original song of six verses is in the back of the book.

I would use this book in PK-2 grade and adapt it to the curriculum standards wanting achieved. I would use it as a reading, listening, and comprehending lesson. The students would identify the rhymes and patterns; as well, create there own. I would create games and activities to enhance their ability to categorize words as the same or different. It is a great book for phonemic awareness where children learn to manipulate words to create new rhymes and alliterations by specifically recognizing the ending parts of the words.
Profile Image for Sara.
311 reviews12 followers
November 30, 2012
Oh A-Hunting We Will Go by John Langstaff and Nancy Winslow Parker is a fantastic book based on the classic folk song. This book works well both for beginning readers and for teachers looking for a sing-a-loud book. I've been reading this book in my class for years and the kids always love the rhyming pairs and trying to guess what will be next for each animal and catching the rhyme and love singing along.

This is a book that will be enjoyed by kids from 3-8.
21 reviews1 follower
February 14, 2013
Oh A-Hunting We Will Go
By: John Langstaff
Recommended ages: 4-9

This book is about a going on a hunting trip. The hunter catches a bunch of animals but lets them go in the end. Every time they mention an anima,l such as the fox, they use another word like box, to make it rhyme. This kind of poetry falls under songs.

I really like this book because it teaches kids that poetry is fun by teaching them a cute and fun rhyming song.
February 26, 2012
Great book! A book that I enjoyed reading as a child, only makes me feel the same way when reading it again, This rhyming book is perfect to put to music and encourage students to singalong. The book has interesting pictures and incorporates many different animals, so students creativity can flow!
80 reviews
March 22, 2016
This book is a humorous book about a group of children that go hunting. The unique part about this book is that it is meant to be sung. This book could really help readers that are struggling with fluency.
18 reviews
May 23, 2012
This is a fun interactive book that would capture the attention of students in a classroom, or create bonding with child and parent.
Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews

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