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.

Taffeta Sun 11-Nov-12 22:14:00




wonderstuff Sun 11-Nov-12 22:15:34

Did wonder, thanks, dd always asks

flussymummy Thu 15-Nov-12 23:14:48

No way!!! Have always wondered if the older girl was the mother but never questioned the "father" - gosh! Off to find our battered copy!

You're joking.

Mind is blown. I always thought it was a whole-family adventure!!

NotMostPeople Sat 17-Nov-12 10:06:57


We're not scared

SavoyCabbage Sat 17-Nov-12 10:09:23


I have just put my dd to bed (australia) so I can't read it. It's going to be like watching 'Lost' again.

EcoLady Sat 17-Nov-12 15:13:08

WHAT?! They are out there, in those weather conditions, with *no adult supervision at all?
<clutches pearls>

DorsetKnob Sat 17-Nov-12 15:17:05

The bear looks so sad at the end.

DameMargotFountain Sat 17-Nov-12 15:19:19

that's why he hasn't got a coat on then grin

cookielove Sat 17-Nov-12 15:19:48

Wow, never saw that one coming shock

NoraFatimaBuffet Sun 18-Nov-12 19:31:11

grin I used to think 'huh, rubbish neglectful father taking them out half-dressed in that weather/mud/crossing a RIVER' in a bosom-hoickingly judgemental way. Bosom dutifully un-hoicked now...

reindeerjumper Sun 18-Nov-12 19:33:28

So is the bear the Dad? <holds monocle up to eye>

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sun 18-Nov-12 19:34:15

Bosoms should be doubly hoicked, what were those parents thinking of? Allowing their children out like that without adequate supervision, disgraceful.

PoppyWearer Sun 18-Nov-12 19:38:25


I'm sure the play we went to see (don't ask me how they made it last an hour) had "Dad" in it.

Tut tut.

The bear does look sad at the end. DD's nursery added "and the bear went home to his Mummy and Daddy" to stop the kids being sad. So now I have to remember to say that too!

lisad123 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:44:31

Where were their parents when all this was happening!!
Bet mum was drinking wine and MNing smile

Clawdy Sun 18-Nov-12 23:07:44

Helen O also said she added the "sad bear" picture because she had a thought that perhaps the bear was lonely and only wanted to play....sad

HoneyDragon Sun 18-Nov-12 23:09:54

The sad bear at the end gets me every time. I told my dc's tha imaginary bears are terribly sad when they are sent away in favour of other games.

Mathsdidi Sun 18-Nov-12 23:13:52

I didn't know people thought he was the dad. I always assumed he was a big brother and they were all children.

Tee2072 Wed 21-Nov-12 10:20:17


crunchernumber Wed 21-Nov-12 10:22:08

I always assumed he was the Dad. Built up some tragic back story of mother dying and him soldiering on to look after his unruly brood Chitty Chitty Bang Bang style!

piprabbit Wed 21-Nov-12 10:35:33

We had a copy of the story in an old compendium of childrens' poems, rainy day activities, short stories, songs etc. that I loved as a small child in the 1970s, well before the Rosen version was published in the later 1980s.
TBH I prefer the original version, but that might just be me being a bit 'things were better in my day'.

timetosmile Wed 21-Nov-12 10:38:43

My DCs think that after the mud pcture, it's blood dripping off the bigger girl's foot from a tin can dropped on the beach, and a salutory message about littering

Big brother, eh?

ABirdInTheBush Wed 21-Nov-12 10:46:27

<runs to bookcase>

Nah, she's messing with us. He looks about 35.

Unless he's from Daddy's first marriage to that woman.

The plot thickens...

Leafmould Wed 21-Nov-12 11:27:14

Pip rabbit. Can you link your version?

Pedallleur Wed 21-Nov-12 11:28:50

I thought it was Dad taking the children out for the day - but he puts them thro' a lot of hazards.

"DorsetKnob" Our two yr. old has been known to burst into tears as the bear returns home on the last page

FeckOffCup Wed 21-Nov-12 11:29:07

I always thought the oldest "boy" was the dad and the blonde female the mum, although she does look quite young. DD agrees, she always says "oh no poor mummy" on the page where the blonde one falls in the forest.

piprabbit Wed 21-Nov-12 11:29:42

You'll have to wait for the next time I visit my parents - I think they still have the book tucked away somewhere never knowingly thrown anything out

smokeybacon Wed 21-Nov-12 11:30:27

Ooh interesting. Will read it to ds2 tonight. MY interpretation of the book is that the younger kids were being read a story by dad(or big brother) and they are acting out the story ,hence them all being under the covers at the end. They were just play acting the bear hunt. It's a much nicer way of looking at one rather awful production seen where the family return to the holiday home where their mother died and go on this ill advised adventure.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 21-Nov-12 11:31:28


that adds something to my knowledge.

well done Helen for clearing that up!

all children, no parents grin

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 11:34:33

No coat - of course!

<eyes DD's coat not taken to school in late November hmm>

That was the first book my DS ever loved. He is autistic and never told me anything about what he did at nursery then one day he came home singing it, and recognised that the bear was sad. Quite a breakthrough for him. We had four copies of it at one point.

TiggyD Wed 21-Nov-12 11:36:22

I want to know how and why they go bearfoot through a river and area of mud when it's cold enough for snow?

Is this the article in the grauniad? It's online if anyone else wants to read it.

This is quite interesting about how the author and illustrator had different ideas of the book


ooh xposts

ChestnutsRoastingonaWitchesTit Wed 21-Nov-12 11:38:39


This puts a whole new slant on things.

Can someone do an interview with Judith Kerr now and get to the bottom of just who is the tiger meant to be in The Tiger Who Came to Tea?

What?! I thought it was Dad AND Mum. Woefully unobservant here.

Judith Kerr is quoted as saying, "Sometimes a tiger is just a tiger," in a reference to Freud's "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," I think.

confuddledDOTcom Wed 21-Nov-12 11:45:54

We're going on a bear hunt!
We're gonna catch a big one!
I'm not afraid!
Are you?
Not me!

Here comes the gate
Now we're on a bear hunt
We're gonna catch a big one
I'm not afraid
Are you?
Not me!

We're coming to a tall mountain
It sure is high
It sure is wide
Let's climb up it
Well, there's nothing over there
Nothing over there
Nothing back there
Hey! Wait! I think I see something
Quick! Everybody run down!


We're going thru the tall grass
We're going thru the short grass
Hey! Look! There's a little tree
Well, let's shinny on up it
Whoa! It gets a little skinny up here at the top
See anything over that way?
Anything over that way?, Uh, oh!,
Oh, no! Whoa! Agh! let's get down!


Oh, no!
It's a big puddle of mud
Can't go around it
Gotta go right thru it
Well, let's go.
Squish, Sqwish, Blaaahh.


We're coming to a wide river
And there's no bridge going over it
No tunnel going under it
It's just plain old water
And we're gonna have to swim
All right, dive in!
Start swimming
Do the back stroke
Do the side stroke
Do the doggie paddle
Try the little cat paddle
OK Jump out, shake yourself off


Shhh, it's a cave
Looks like the kind of cave that B-bears live in
I don't know if I want to go in there
You think we oughta go in?
Are you nuts?
There's probably a bear in there
All right I'll go in, You stay here,
And if I find a bear, I'll come out and get you
And we'll all go in and grab him together
Now, quiet, don't make a sound while I'm in that cave,
Cuz if you wake him up, I'll be in trouble
Bears are awful ornery when they first wake up, you know
OK, I'm going on in
Oooo, It's dark in here
It's really dark in here
I can't see a thing
Agh, there's spiders webs
Ooo, what was that???
What's this??.... it's soft, uh oh,it's kind of fuzzy

Ahg!!!!!!!!! Run! Everybody run!!
I saw a bear!!!!
Jump in the water! Swim fast!!
Do the backstroke!
The sidestroke, the doggie paddle
Jump out of the water
Run through the mud!
Forget the tree!!
Go through the tall grass
The short grass
Quick! Go up the mountain
Down the other side
Go thru the gate
Into the house, under the bed
Under the pillow
Uh, it's awful quiet around here
I'm not afraid
I'm not afraid
Are you?
Are you?

ChestnutsRoastingonaWitchesTit Wed 21-Nov-12 11:59:57

I love the idea that "we can't go over it, we can't go under it...oh no, we've got to go through it!"

It's become a family motto in our house for when things are hard to bear

soverylucky Wed 21-Nov-12 12:41:28

It is clearly the dad. I refuse to believe that he is a brother. And the blonde woman looks far too old to be a big sister.

BRANdishingMistletoe Wed 21-Nov-12 12:48:35

I never thought he was the dad. He looks, dresses and acts like a uni student IMO.

MrsJamin Wed 21-Nov-12 12:49:36

I hope you've all seen the Michael Rosen rendition on youtube. It's just wonderful. It's impossible to say "oh no!" in the story now without using his accent! Or do the dupdupdupdup noise of going up the stairs.

MrsJamin Wed 21-Nov-12 12:49:57

and yes I never thought that was a brother - how odd.

Coconutfeet Wed 21-Nov-12 13:07:06

Well, well well.

Pedallleur - ds also used to cry because he felt so sad for the bear in that final picture.

notso Wed 21-Nov-12 13:49:15

hmm Four DC on a bear hunt and no bickering, mine can't even choose a yoghurt without a full blown row.

MarianForrester Wed 21-Nov-12 13:55:22

Am relieved; thought relationship Not Right grin Hate the book though- tedious and poor bear.

MarianForrester Wed 21-Nov-12 13:55:51

And grin notso

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 21-Nov-12 13:56:35

We did it at story time yesterday.

I started it in a whisper, showing that actually, we were a bit scared and pretending not to be.

each scenario, we got braver and louder, until the last one where we were nearly as big and scary as the bear.
then we saw the bear and were scared again grin

that's the beauty, isn't it, that we can be as imaginative as we want to be!

DeWe Wed 21-Nov-12 14:03:27

So the illustator is basically telling us that she didn't draw the big boy very well, and made him look too old?

TheCeejOfWinterfell Wed 21-Nov-12 14:07:15

That twatting book scared my DD so much it had to live in the freezer (a la Joey in Friends) hmm

confuddledDOTcom Wed 21-Nov-12 14:10:05

MrsJamin my eldest loves him doing it and that is now The correct way to read it!

notso my three all get along, even when their two brothers are around too. Actually reminds me of the pictures as I can see my eldest SS carrying one of the younger girls on his shoulders like that for miles.

pleasestoparguing Wed 21-Nov-12 14:14:34

MY DC all believe it is their Dad the family profile fits ours and before DH became a computer game bore it's the sort of fun irresponsible thing he would go and do with them.

mummytime Wed 21-Nov-12 14:19:18

I remember singing the song at Guides in the 1970s! We used to do it with lots of actions.

notso Wed 21-Nov-12 14:19:58

envy confuddled, most days I feel like the famer with the fox, the goose, the grain (and the grumpy toddler!)

confuddledDOTcom Wed 21-Nov-12 15:02:00

Having grown up in a family where no one got on, lots of arguing, Mum regularly walking in and saying she could hear us from the next road (we were about the 6th house in) it's lovely having a family that all get on. I think my husband's laidback genes have been passed onto all 5 children, hopefully this one will have them too!

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 21-Nov-12 15:04:05

Notso grin

NigellasGuest Wed 21-Nov-12 15:05:08

of course it's the brother, not the dad!
why would an adult be part of an imaginary game like that?

Smudging Wed 21-Nov-12 15:25:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BarbecuedBillygoats Wed 21-Nov-12 15:31:36

In that version
Why do they tiptoe out of the cave when they've disturbed a bear and are trying to get away quickly?

NigellasGuest Wed 21-Nov-12 15:36:56

"I didn't want adults around because they tend to stilt the imagination" (Helen Oxenbury) - so true!

cate16 Wed 21-Nov-12 15:56:09

I always thought it was a story told in bed with lots of pretending going on..

puddock Wed 21-Nov-12 16:37:33

To those whose LOs find the lonely bear at the end sad - check out The Bear In The Cave, which is a sort of companion story (though not exactly a sequel) also by Michael Rosen - the bear goes to the city and meets some friends. My DS2 loves them both.

whiskeytangofoxtrot Wed 21-Nov-12 18:16:06


lurkingaround Wed 21-Nov-12 18:17:28

DH hates that story. he thinks it's too scary. By contrast, the DCs love it.

But, it's a Dad!! With a much younger Mum. Look at him! I don't believe it. Can't believe I never got that. So I am in denial, it's a Dad.

The going out without coats in a snowstorm, wading thru the river etc, is a bit of a hint that there's no Mum there. But the Dad is the Dad. <denial denial>


I always thought it wa a solo dad and mum was at work or otherwise absent.

Heh, well I always thought people who thought the eldest girl was the mum were barking mad. Clearly I am too.

Going back to the Tiger of Tea fame ... DD and I went to see Judith Kerr talk last month. She said she wrote it when her daughter was small, and they were sometimes bored and wished someone would visit. So she told a story about someone coming to visit, and the someone happened to be a tiger. The daughter had a lot of say in what she did and didn't want in the story, so effectively edited it, aged 2!

Bessie123 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:03:33

Helen oxenbury has cocked her illustrations up then because there is no way that looks like an older brother. Unless there is some complicated back story and he is a half brother who is at least 20 years older than his siblings.

timetosmile Wed 21-Nov-12 20:10:59

I take exception to the attitude that mothers are unfit to lead expeditions which involve wading and adventure. or would a mother have stopped and asked for directions without feeling that her identity was fatally compromised?

BrainSurgeon Wed 21-Nov-12 20:31:09


Grumpla Wed 21-Nov-12 20:35:46

Haha notso has hit the nail on the head.

An older brother just wouldn't have the authoritass necessary to keep order.

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 21-Nov-12 20:39:02

I saw that interview too, and found it v interesting. But not convinced that the brother is not actually the dad...

DD loves the book except for the last page "because the bear is too sad". Helen Oxenbury said that she modelled the picture on her friend who had suffered from depression, so he really does have a "sad human" quality

Bluestocking Wed 21-Nov-12 20:41:44

I always thought he was the older brother! My mum really scoffed at me when I told her this and said he was obviously the dad! Must make sure I tell her ...

Leafmould Wed 21-Nov-12 20:53:19

The dad older brother does not have the dress sense of an older brother. That jumper is definately a dad jumper.

Bluestocking Wed 21-Nov-12 20:56:23

He was just very fashion forward, Leafmould - they're all wearing dad jumpers now!

RubyGates Wed 21-Nov-12 21:36:40

But! but but but but but.....

LapinDeBois Wed 21-Nov-12 21:41:39

Ha, I nearly started this thread the other day when I read the article, because I got rubbished ages ago on MN for suggesting he was the older brother grin. And of course it's an imaginary game - in what real life expedition would you encounter a warm-enough-to-wade-through river, a snowstorm and a real bear confused?.

McPhee Wed 21-Nov-12 21:45:10

Oh no

My bubble has been popped

This feels just like watching the very last episode of friends sad

LynetteScavo Wed 21-Nov-12 21:47:28

DS1 was convinced the oldest sister is the Mum. Of course I'm far too mature to argue with a small child about something like this.

BrianButterfield Wed 21-Nov-12 21:49:55

I read it to DS this morning and then had to trek to nursery through teeming rain and deep puddles...must admit I kept mentally repeating "can't go over it, can't gp under it, oh no! I've got to go through it..." as I waded on.

confuddledDOTcom Wed 21-Nov-12 21:59:01

BarbecuedBillygoats - I always ask that!

InmaculadaConcepcion - I read that in Michael Rosen's voice.

I've just done a Google images search (make sure you put the full name in confused) to check what he looks like and I think he definitely seems more of the dad than the brother. I can see that being my family with my husband!

Got to ask this, how many people don't need the book any more?

Kahu Wed 21-Nov-12 21:59:25

Just found this No sad bear at the end though sad

Kahu Wed 21-Nov-12 22:02:26
beela Wed 21-Nov-12 22:14:32

Hmm. I too was confused re the oldest girl, but always thought the dad big brother was the dad. I also feel sorry for the bear, we always say to DS that it is running after them because he wants to play as we are too PFB to possibly introduce the idea of a mean bear.

littleducks Wed 21-Nov-12 22:46:10

He is definately a dad in the play.

BTW thanks again MNHQ for the tickets to that!

CheerfulYank Wed 21-Nov-12 23:02:57

Whhhaaaaaaaaattt? NO! shock

I thought he was the dad too. But always wondered if the older girl was the mum or the sister. When they are crossing the river you can see her knickers, so I thought most likely to be a child

saffronwblue Wed 21-Nov-12 23:36:14

I always thought the oldest girl was the mum, but thought the illustrator was a bit confused.
So when they go home is that Mum and Dad's bed they jump into? Where the hell are those neglectful parents?

BonzoDooDah Wed 21-Nov-12 23:53:15

Wow - I never did think that.

And whatever you do DON'T buy the (Walker books) pop-up version of the Bear Hunt Book - they have missed off the last page!!!
No bear walking away dejectedly!
So you don't get the whole point that the bear may have been friendly (lonely) and that it has gone. Utterly strange! And runined.

frankie4 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:59:26

Going back to The Tiger Who Came For Tea, I don't think that there was a tiger, I think the mum made it all up as she hadn't made dinner or tidied up and she was worried about what the dad would say.

frankie4 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:04:23

But how can that not be the dad in Bear Hunt? He is so tall, if he is the brother he must be about 18! Next thing they will be saying is that Charlie is the dad in Charlie and Lola!

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 22-Nov-12 00:04:45

Frankie, you forgot to mention the reason that mum did nothing: she drank all the beer.grin

Bear Hunt now makes more sense. The "dad" is a teenage brother!

ProcrastinatingPanda Thu 22-Nov-12 00:05:00

So their irresponsible parents let them go off on their own in the woods to hunt for a bear hmm

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 22-Nov-12 00:13:28

No Panda, they left them in the care of a teenage family member. My parents, aunts and uncles are now aghast at what happened to their DCs under my (teenage) care.grin

frankie4 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:13:47

Zoe Williams has been reading this thread !! She just tweeted it!

ProcrastinatingPanda Thu 22-Nov-12 00:24:15



Clary Thu 22-Nov-12 00:28:44

I always used to wonder why they tiptoe out of the bear's cave.

Also having found the bear why do they run off?? Or why look for him in the first place? He just wants to play anyway sad

I always used to worry that they had no stairgate so when they run back to shut the front door, the toddler could fall down the stairs...

sleepywombat Thu 22-Nov-12 05:04:03

I don't believe it. DS always calls them 'mum' & 'dad'.

nooka Thu 22-Nov-12 05:32:10

We read the book many times and never thought that the man was a big brother. It's packed away now, but look at this picture. That is so an adult.

Having said that in this picture he could easily be a teenager.

We thought that the bear was sad they wouldn't play with him too smile

DowagersHump Thu 22-Nov-12 07:08:28

This book generates controversy like no other. I have had heated debates about where the stress goes on 'We're not scared'

'We're not scared', is of course correct grin

Tee2072 Thu 22-Nov-12 07:33:19

I have imparted this news to my husband. He was shock and confused.

Never has MN been rocked so hard...

merrymouse Thu 22-Nov-12 07:35:22

I expect it is like "Party of Five" - the older, grown up brother is looking after them.


SoupDragon Thu 22-Nov-12 07:39:18

I haven't been able to read this since I made an unfortunate spoonerism with the words hunt and catch

RubyGates Thu 22-Nov-12 07:40:29

Id actually always thought that Mum had sent them all out on a Saturday morning (with dad in charge) so she could get the housework done.

I always imagined her chagrin when she found they'd all rushed back home with dirty, muddy feet and climbed into the nice clean bed.

CheerfulYank Thu 22-Nov-12 07:44:36

Oh no no, Dowager. It's "We're not scared." Hmmph.

CheerfulYank Thu 22-Nov-12 07:45:45

Oh, merry, how I lusted after Charlie and Bailey in the day! grin

Himalaya Thu 22-Nov-12 08:03:24

He has a gut and a receding hairline.

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?

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

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

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>

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

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.

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!

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.

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??

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!"

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...?

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

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"?

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>

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

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

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

Did you all know there is a sequel???

The Bear in a Cave

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.

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

Adaptation even!

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

Not according to Helen Oxenbury.....smile

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 Tue 25-Jun-13 19:39:03

Grumpyrocker I love that word "necrobump"!

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