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We’re Going on a Bearhunt

bear huntMichael Rosen, Helen Oxenbury (illus)
Walker Books
Age 0-5

This beautiful picture book celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019. It’s based on a well known traditional rhyme regularly performed by Michael Rosen at live events which he then developed for the picturebook. Helen Oxenbury’s beautiful illustrations really add to the rhyme, transforming it into a family adventure. The rhythm and repetition make it great fun to tell and retell (or even sing!) with and without the book.


Share the story

Read aloud
Read the story aloud emphasising the rhythm and increasing the volume of your voice for the words in bold. Allow time to look at the pictures together and talk about them as you share the book.

Join in
Encourage your child to join in with the chorus ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ and any parts of the text they remember. Make up actions together for the different parts of the story; eg swishing through long grass, squelching through mud and tiptoeing into the bear’s cave.

Watch the story
Watch  author Michael Rosen tell the story

From Walker Books


Thing to make and do

Play the story
Say the rhyme together at home, or when you are out and about. Enjoy splashing in the bath or through puddles on rainy days, tiptoeing quietly, walking through long grass and if you get the opportunity through snow or even squishy mud (suitably dressed of course!).

Pack a bag and go on a bear hunt
Talk with your child about what you will need, perhaps boots and a torch. Pack all the things you collect in a large bag or rucksack before going on an imaginary bear hunt around your home, garden or, if you are very adventurous the park or woods! If there is another member of your family, who can join in with the game by pretending to be the bear (perhaps hiding behind a chair or a tree ready to jump out) that would make this activity even more fun.

Play a  game
Print off the card game and follow the instructions to play a card game with words from the story. This activity is suitable for 4-5 year olds.

Draw a picture
Give your child paper and crayons or coloured pencils to draw their favourite part of the story. encourage them to tell you about their picture.

Find out more

For more Bearhunt activities:

Look here for Bearhunt themed resources from publishing companies Walker Books and Yellow Door , includes some downloadable resources.

      See A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson and David Roberts (illus) for advice on  spotting different kinds of bears and what  to do if you meet one!


Read about more books by Michael Rosen here

See our ideas for A Great Big Cuddle illustrated by Chris Riddell

Other picture books include:

Little Rabbit Foo Foo

This is Our House

Poetry (for older children) includes:

Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy

Quick Let’s Get Out of Here

Stories for older children include 

Uncle Gobb and the Dreadshed with Neal Layton

Read about more books for young children by Helen Oxenbury here

All Fall Down

Say Goodnight

I Can

Clap Hands