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We're Going on a Bear Hunt Children's Book - A Modern Classic

Updated on March 25, 2015
Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean resides in North Dakota where she works as a freelance writer and blogs at Faith's Mom's Blog.

I well remember when my daughter was in preschool and she would come home talking about a bear hunt and going through a river and a snowstorm and a forest. I wasn't sure what she was talking about until a friend of ours brought over the book, "We're Going on a Bear Hunt." My daughter was introduced to this book in preschool and as a 7-year-old it is still her favorite book.

What's your child's favorite book?
What's your child's favorite book?

A Fun Book to Read

The premise of "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" is that a father and his four children and their dog wake up one day and decide to go on a bear hunt.

While going on their bear hunt they come across many things that they "can't go over" and "can't go under" so they "have to go through it." They go swishy swashy through the grass, splash splosh through the river, squelch squerch through the mud and hoooo woooo through a snowstorm. Finally, they come to a cave. The family bravely goes inside and finds, what else? A BEAR!

They quickly exit the cave and have to go through the grass, the river, the forest and the snowstorm all over again but this time the bear is running after them. They finally get to to their house but they forget to shut the door so they run back down and shut it then all climb into bed and declare that they are never going on a bear hunt again.

What makes this story so much fun for children is that it is repetitious and you can use lots of hand motions and different sounds throughout the story. For instance, as the family goes through the snowstorm you and your child can try to make the sound of the wind blowing. Also, while they are on the bear hunt it can be read slowly then pick up speed when they are running away from the bear.

The repetition and rhythm of the story makes it easy to memorize which makes it great to recite, especially on a long car trip, as me and my daughter have done!

About the Author

"We're Going on a Bear Hunt" was written by Michael Rosen and published in 1989.

Michael Rosen was born in London, England on May 7, 1946. Besides writing children's books, he is also a poet and a broadcaster. Rosen has authored over 140 books and was appointed as the fifth Children's Laureate in June 2007, an honor he held until 2009.

Rosen graduated from Wadham College in Oxford in 1969. In 1993, he attained a Master's Degree in Children's Literature from the University of Reading. He also has a Ph.D. from the University of North London. He currently teaches Children's Literature at Birkbeck, University of London.

Rosen was one of the first poets to visit schools throughout the United Kingdom and also Canada, Singapore and Australia.

Other children's books by Michael Rosen include:

  • Michael Rosen's Sad Book
  • Little Rabbit Foo Foo
  • Burping Bertha
  • This is Our House
  • Lovely Old Roly
  • Howler
  • Totally Wonderful Miss Plumberry
  • You're Thinking About Tomatoes

Rosen also wrote Carrying the Elephant: A Memoir of Love and Loss which was published in November 2002 after the death of his son Eddie.

More Than Just A Book

"We're Going on a Bear Hunt" has sold over 3.5 million copies and has become more than just a best-selling children's book. It has also become a song with different versions, a skit performed at preschool graduations and has even been adapted for the stage for major productions. All you have to do is look on YouTube to see its popularity and how many different versions there are.

"We're Going on a Bear Hunt" is a modern classic that will be read and performed by children for years to come.


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    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      jeffreymaskel - thanks so much for your comment. It is certainly a fun book to read to kids!

    • jeffreymaskel profile image

      Jeffrey Maskel 

      6 years ago from Boulder, CO

      My father used to read this book to me when I was younger. I always loved the way he made the sounds of the actions. I shall read this to my children if I ever have any. He never did the sing-songy style of reading. That is interesting.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      8 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      BeautyBabe - thanks so much for your comment. I am so sorry to hear of your terminal illness but I also commend you for striving to reach your goals and dreams. Congrats on your success and may you be blessed in all you do!

    • BEAUTYBABE profile image


      8 years ago from QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA.

      This sounds like a wonderful book for children to learn a lot from. Michael Rosen does a very good job with his book writing for children.I have seen some of his work and he is very gifted and knows what children like.

      It's lovely to see that so much has evolved from just this one story book. From acting out this story to reading to children in the car.

      I have recently starting writing childrens and have had three published so far. I hope that my books become popular and bring much happiness to children all over the world. I don't have any degrees or anything but I finished school and did nursing.

      I have a terminal illness so I don't know how long I will be able to keep writing but I intend to have more published as I have written another five.

      I am having another published in the next few months.

      This has inspired me and given me more confidence.

      Thank you it is very well written. I have a website which advertises these books:

      I'd be interested to know what you think of it if you are in the neighbourhood.

      Pam x

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      8 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      RTalloni - thanks so much for your comment - no matter how many times my daughter wants to read this book I never get tired of it!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love it still! :)

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      HealthyHanna - There are so many more vidoes out there with kids and adults acting out this story but Michael Rosen does a great job!

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Rebecca E. - thanks so much for your comment. It really is a fun book!

    • HealthyHanna profile image


      9 years ago from Utah

      I have always loved this action story. The book added to it. and now the video makes it Hallarious!

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 

      9 years ago from Canada

      you are right it is such a great book, and my children get a big kick out of it every time we read it.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Just Ask Susan - thanks so much for your comment. It's great that the book is over 20 years old and is still going strong!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This was one of my niece's favorite books too when she was growing up. Fun book and really enjoyed your hub.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Denise Handlon - thanks so much for your comment. I like you daughter's name!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      I love this story and the video is a great added touch. Ms. Cari Jean--my daughter (hubber: cardelean) is 'Cara Jean' LOL Nice to meet you.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      TurtleDog - thanks for your comment and for voting this up. Yes, this book is so fun because you can make it so interactive with the kids and they just love that!

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Hello, hello - thank you for your comment.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Pamela - thanks so much for your comment. Children really do love this book and I think parents enjoy it just as much!

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Reynold Jay - thank you so much for your comment and for rating this up. I also appreciate you becoming a fan. I'll be sure to check out your hubs as well!

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Hyphenbird - thanks so much for your comment and you are welcome for the memory.

    • TurtleDog profile image


      9 years ago

      That must be a fun book! Very helpful hub I voted 'up' I love books like that were you can get really into it with the kids. Thanks for the post

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      That sounds a great book and thank you for brining it to our attention.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This book sounds like one the children would always love. You did a wonderful job of explaining the book.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      9 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Thanks for the insight on this wonderful book. I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. Up one and Useful. Hey! I'm now your fan! RJ

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      9 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Over the years, we have added many chapters to the story and even Old MacDonald now has a zillion animals. Bear Hunt really is a charming book. Thanks for the memory.


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