We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Classic Board Books) is about a family’s journey through many terrains to find a bear. Written by Michael Rosen in 1989, it has been a consistent best seller in childrens picture books.

The family faces many challenges on their bear hunt. They wade through grasslands and rivers, stumble through forests and snowstorms, and struggle through muddy flats. Finally they come across a ‘narrow, gloomy cave’ where they encounter a bear that chases them all the way back home to bed.

It’s a fun adventure book that will capture your child’s imagination and take them along for the ride.

The repetition and simple language make it easy for children to follow the story and to recite lines. Every adventure begins with “We are going on a bear hunt. We are going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We’re not scared.”

Use of “Swishy swashy, swishy swashy” as the family moves through grass and “Splash splosh, splash splosh” as they walk through the river are examples of onomatopoeia that bring the action in the book to life.

This is complemented by the dramatic colour illustrations for these pages, showing the family struggling against nature in big landscape settings.

It is a very enjoyable read.

Tips for Parents

As a parent you can take advantage of the many poetic features of the writing to make the story fun and interactive for your child.

  • Involve your child in the reading of the story, including the rhymes and end of sentences.
  • As the family overcomes an obstacle, encourage your child to recite with you – starting off in a hushed voice, then getting louder.

    “Splash Splosh!

    Splash Splosh!

    Splash Splosh!”

  • Discuss the landscapes in the book – grasslands, rivers, mud flats, forests, stowstorms, caves.
  • Talk about the bear – the book describes its ‘shiny wet nose’, ‘big furry ears’, ‘big goggly eyes’. Also discuss the bear’s claws, his size, and things he might eat – like honey or fish.


Michael Rosen

Born in London, Michael Rosen has written many children’s books and poems. Other children’s stories he has written include Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, Little Rabbit Foo Foo and Tiny Little Fly.

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