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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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