Traditional Thursday – We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

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We’re Going on a Bear Hunt written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury is a classic child book that has a very repetitive refrain that sticks in the heads of every reader who comes in contact with the book:

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

It creates a sort of sing-songy rhythm that keeps the child engaged in the book. For this reason, I like this book because I think that there are some children’s book that can’t hold the attention of a young child. However, I do not like the fact that the father pictured in the story brings his children first of all on a bear hunt and secondly through a bunch of dangerous obstacles (i.e. the woods and a snow storm). I think this portrays fathers in an abnormal light and makes him seem sort of stupid.

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The last aspect that I found interesting was that every other page has color and the other is black and white. I think this adds to the component of rhythm and further keeps the young reader engaged in the story. The use of watercolor and pencil is a nice medium for the story of this book. While I wouldn’t highly recommend this book, it is obvious that many children like it, so I wouldn’t discourage children and parents from reading this book.

-Allie Norman

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