We're going on a Bear Hunt....all is made clear...!

(133 Posts)
Clawdy Sun 11-Nov-12 22:10:29

Just read an interview with Helen Oxenbury the illustrator,and she said the one everyone thinks is the dad is actually the older brother...they are ALL children.

Clawdy Tue 25-Jun-13 19:39:03

Grumpyrocker I love that word "necrobump"!

Grumpyrocker Tue 25-Jun-13 18:56:29

Sorry to necrobump the thread. But...

Just this again to my youngest (aged 3). I've always thought eldest boy was the dad. And changed my mind several times about oldest girl - whether she's a daughter or mum. There are scenes in the book where she stands with "dad" that make them seem a couple.

But other times - perhaps because of my own family - that I see it as a dad who has lost his wife. And the natural obstacles they are all facing together are metaphors for struggling on without mum/wife. It's not easy being a widowed dad.

Most of the time though I see it as a family playing an imaginary game of bear hunt and the scenes are depicting what they are imagining. And at the end you see one of the children holding the real bear - a teddy.

Yet if illustrator says it's the big brother, then that's fine by me, it's the big brother not the dad.

Clawdy Mon 31-Dec-12 15:01:35

Not according to Helen Oxenbury.....smile

therethere Thu 13-Dec-12 20:05:10

Adaptation even!

therethere Thu 13-Dec-12 20:04:38

Saw the stage adaption of bear hunt last week and the character is the dad, not the older brother.

fozzy26 Thu 13-Dec-12 19:57:12

Did you all know there is a sequel???

The Bear in a Cave

Melpomene Fri 07-Dec-12 00:35:55

Definitely looks like a Dad - he's even got a slightly receding hairline!

SeasonallySnowyPeasant Thu 06-Dec-12 18:04:48

I've only just seen this shock The oldest female character is more than a bit ambiguous but the dad is definitely a dad.

Another one here who tells their PFB that the bear just wants to play. We learned our lesson after reading The Enormous Crocodile <shudders at memory of removing imaginary crocodiles from toddler's room several times a night for a week>

confuddledDOTcom Tue 27-Nov-12 13:22:34

littlemrssleepy - that's bothered me since I was a child!

EcoLady - we can only read it one way now since watching Michael Rosen reading it! When my 6yo was a preschooler she would sit with a laptop and YouTube for hours watching Michael Rosen videos.

Who else adds in "ta-dum dump-dump-dump"?

BonzoDooDah Tue 27-Nov-12 10:32:51

EcoLady - I obviously can't be mind controlled. I watched Michael Rosen last week, yet when I read Bear Hunt last night I had a different rhythm for each page confused

Themobstersknife Thu 22-Nov-12 21:12:41

Frankie4 I totally agree about the Tiger. Clearly the mum made it all up. She was sat on her arse all day, drinking sherry and watching re-runs.

According to DD1, the Bear Hunt features both mum and dad. She is not to be argued with over this. Trust me.

I used to do the Bear Hunt as a kid ... 'Going on a bear hunt, got my gun by my side, and my bullets too'. Anyone else...?

BrianButterfield Thu 22-Nov-12 20:56:21

I kept trying different rhythms until I watched Michael Rosen doing it, and now that's the only way to read it. DS is so cute doing the "uh-oh!"

EcoLady Thu 22-Nov-12 19:09:04

Miceal Rosen himself puts the emphasis on "We're" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytc0U2WAz4s grin

Challenge anyone to watch this and not get the rhythm stuck in their head for ever!

crunchernumber Thu 22-Nov-12 16:52:46

The bit where Max 'wanted to be where someone loved him best of all' brings a lump to my throat.

BonzoDooDah Thu 22-Nov-12 15:02:46

Dowager I put the emphasis on NOT rather than we're if that's any consolation smile

[Spoiler alert] I think Max is asleep (sulking in his room) and the whole thing is a dream - his mother sneaks in and leaves hsi supper and he wakes up slowly to the smell - hence rubbing his eyes in the last picture.

I love the fact that Maurice Sendak was allegedly a grumpy old thing and Wild Things was nearly not published. The editors wanted to change the ending to "still warm" as a hot supper would be dangerous for a child (ffs). But he refused and the book publishing deal was on hold for a year.

Eventually they backed down and it was pubished as is "and it was still hot". Hurrah! Because the meaning is significant - a warm supper could have been there for ages but a hot supper has just been placed there.

weegiemum Thu 22-Nov-12 13:37:58

I teach a storytelling class to mums who are just learning to read themselves. This is a great book as it covers loads of phonics, is easy to read, rhythmic, repetitive and a good story.

I love listening to all the wee 3 year olds yelling "shrooit" in their wee weegie accents! They ask for the book to be read by slapping their legs - we do it to get a rhythm going.

mummytime Thu 22-Nov-12 11:54:47

My kids were too scared to read "Where the wild things are..." more than once (actually didn't try it with the youngest ever).

They also found vacum cleaners scary, is this related? Discuss smile

littlemrssleepy Thu 22-Nov-12 11:23:49

On a different but (slightly) related issue. Why does everything in Cinderella turn back to its previous form at midnight......Except the glass slipper??

allbie Thu 22-Nov-12 10:32:49

Inmysparetime...surely the supper is there because he missed his tea and mummy's always feed their children. The phases of the moon show that he was gone for nearly a year as is written in the text..but of course you realise this is really his imaginary year and most probably his dream! He was sent upstairs for being naughty which means he was tired and thus fell to sleep. He woke after his dream to the smell of his supper.

haha, this just goes to show how little I notice anything. Had never even given a thought to who the people are, just read the story. Not many times though, I don't really like it! However, will go upstairs now to get an opinion on who this family are!

earthpixie Thu 22-Nov-12 10:26:06

I love the illustrations to this book but never enjoyed reading it to DS. I hate books with loads of repetition. Almost as bad as the bloody Enormous Turnip.

DowagersHump Thu 22-Nov-12 08:59:04

I know I'm the only person in the world who doesn't put the emphasis on the we're. But I can't listen to the audiobook because it annoys me so much blush

DilysPrice Thu 22-Nov-12 08:28:17

Saw the play version and they start with a small one saying plaintively "I miss Mum" sad. DCs were confused, so I explained that of course they miss Mum, because she's been away for very nearly two weeks, but Grandma is better from her operation now, so Mum can come home very soon.

Totally uncalled for I think. Can't a father take his children out for a day without the mother being dead? I take mine our all the time and no one thinks I'm a widow <over thinks>

crunchernumber Thu 22-Nov-12 08:15:09

That's odd dowager I always put the emphasis on the 'we're'

Just read it again to check, I always thought it was all children may be due to my having a brother 13 years younger than me both boys are wearing ill-fitting "dad" jumpers.
Given the girls dresses and the flowering grasses in the meadow, I'm willing to believe it was a freak summer snowstorm (they do happen occasionally).
Also, they may have been gone for only an hour or two, in the care of a teenage brother, in a rural environment, that's not very concerning.
I was more concerned with Maurice Sendak's "where the wild things are", when I looked at the moon in the illustrations. It is different phases when Max leaves and returns. How long was he gone? Why was his supper waiting for him?

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