Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kids Corner

We're Going on a Bear Hunt
By: Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury

A father and his four children--a toddler, a preschool boy and two older girls--go on the traditional bear hunt based on the old camp chant: "We're going to catch a big one. / What a beautiful day! / We're not scared. / Oh-oh! Grass! / Long, wavy grass. / We can't go over it. / We can't go under it. / Oh, no! / We've got to go through it!" The family skids down a grassy slope, swishes across a river, sludges through mud and, of course, finally sees the bear, who chases them all back to their home. It's a fantastic journey--was it real or imagined?--with the family's actions (and interaction) adding to the trip a goodnatured, jolly mood. The design of the oversized volume alternates black-and-white drawings with gorgeous full-color watercolor paintings, which Oxenbury uses to wonderful effect. Readers accustomed to her board books will find a different style here, of puddled colors and sweeps of light and shadow. The scale of the pictures and the ease with which the text can be shouted aloud make this ideal for families or groups to share. Ages 4-9. (from

This is one of those classic picture books that I think is a must have in any home library, especially one that will be frequented by kids. This story is one that I think everybody has recited at one time or another and this beautifully illustrated edition really brings the chant to life. For me, it also expands on the story. My memory only recalled the first two verses (so, not a very long adventure) and it was wonderful to take what I recalled and see it bigger, longer and better!

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