1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up discussion

We're Going on a Bear Hunt
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Monthly Book Club > June 2012: We're Going on a Bear Hunt

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Briar Rose | 40 comments Mod
This is the official thread for We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, one of our June reads. Please post up your thoughts about the book here.

Linda (lindajane) | 62 comments Blimey - the lengths this family will go to to find a bear is extraordinary! It's just a well loved terrific tale/song/dance that many a kindergarten kid has performed. Sigh. Days of these fun picture books is now behind my boys, but I love finding new littlies to read it to.

The repetitive lines adds enormously to its appeal for young children who enjoy 'knowing' what's coming next and can actively participate in the 'reading'.

With the illustrations I particularly enjoyed the novelty of black/white on one side and colour on the other.

The books even better now that it's been published as a tougher 'board' book.

Shawn Thrasher (shawn_thrasher) I love the illustrations - each family member is definitely drawn with a sense of character.

Fjóla (fjolarun) | 16 comments I too found the illustrations really beautiful and the nature scenes very sensual. I enjoyed the book, and my 3 1/2 year old son really liked the first part, in particular the "swishy swashy" and "splish splosh" sounds of making your way through the obstacles, but then running into the bear really freaked him out, and seeing the bear follow the children all the way to their house proved downright disturbing for him, to say the least. For several nights after reading the book he wouldn't fall asleep because he was scared there might be a bear outside his window. (To be fair, at the same time he was also feeling upset because some boys at preschool had been playing "gunshooting" and because a friend of his got bitten by a dinosaur(!) while on vacation. So, he's a bit of a sensitive child.) But in any case he would not relax until the book had been returned to the library. This may be the one book, together with Where the Wild Things Are, that has made him feel the most uneasy. I think he'll appreciate it in a couple of years though.

Linda (lindajane) | 62 comments Oh yes, forgot to add ....

The kids & I had many many discussions/arguments about whether the bear in the end was really scary or just a bit lonely.

He definitely went off with his shoulders hunched over and looking, well, a bit despondent. Could it be he wanted to invite them over for a play in his cubby and a cuppa?

I love books with a 'choose your own ending' - helps let the kids grow into questioning what they read. (& for the ultimate in this kind of ending everyone must read Wolves by Emily Gravett!!)

& let's face it - it makes a simplistic picture book a more interesting read for the hijacked adult.

Fjóla (fjolarun) | 16 comments Of course, we discussed and agreed that looking for a bear was probably not a good idea. I did not suggest to him that maybe the bear wanted just to play, because let's face it, the kid's intuition was right! ;-) (see List of fatal bear attacks in North America) After the night time episodes, I stressed that we would be totally safe in our house. Obviously, the humor in the story was completely lost on him, what can I say. Maybe the bear chasing the children all the way to the house was a bit over the top. But I think the fact that it felt so real is a credit to the wonderful illustrations. We have read other books recently that address children running into a bear (see The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree and We Were Tired of Living in a House) and although my kid told me both times he didn't like the bear, the books were not as unsettling to him. I know he will grow into it eventually, but at the moment he's old enough to understand cause and effect yet not old enough to control his fears. And when I picked up this innocent looking book, I have to say it didn't cross my mind it would have this effect on him. Ah, the adventures that await you in these books ...

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