Kumon Staff Pick: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
RRL Title: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Grade/Kumon Level of Book: Pre-K-2/5A-10 (RAL) & 3A-6
Why do you personally enjoy this book?
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is one of my favorite children’s books. It is a fun story about a family adventure that reminds me of the “hunting” I did as a child. Providing a subtle bit of symbolism, the illustrations are black and white when describing each new obstacle—reminding us of the unknown—but then change to color once the obstacle is overcome. It’s fun to actually think about what would happen if our pretend adventures came true!
Why do you think students would enjoy this book?
Most students, at one time or another, have pretended that they are on an adventure. In this story the whole family, and their dog, venture out to look for a bear. They run into obstructions along the way and discuss how they will continue. Making the sounds as they pass through each obstacle involves the senses, as readers demonstrate the noises made if they were walking through mud, tall grass, or a snowstorm in real life. The repetition also makes the story more like a poem or song, and prereaders may feel as if they are truly reading the story since it’s easy to memorize. The suspense that builds can also be fun and engaging for young students as they consider what will happen next. At the end, when they actually meet the bear, it’s fun to read quickly as the family returns through all the barriers once again to the safety of their bed covers.
What skills and/or values might students gain by reading this book?
Students learn about the challenge of decision making each time the family encounters a new obstacle. They also are able to see the importance of sticking together, as both a family and a team, in order to face fears and conquer hurdles when setting out to accomplish something. In addition, this journey can work to develop their creative imagination as they wonder what will come next during this bear-hunt adventure.