With all the fun and excitement of Christmas and new year, we managed to miss watching the new We’re Going on a Bear Hunt tv adaptation (Channel 4). Luckily, I had put it on record.
For me, it’s fond memories. I work in a preschool and this has been a staple favourite for the 14 years I’ve worked there. The children ‘squeal’ when they see the bear and we have long conversations about why the bear chased them and how he felt at the end. It’s a magical book for the imagination.
From a speech and communication point of view it’s a very useful book (in my opinion). The repeated phrases means children who are not so confident talking can speak the words of the book rather than worry about forming their own sentences. It offers chance to be involved in the book. Then the ‘sounds’ on the next page e.g: ‘swishy swashy’ are great for speech sounds. It also encourages non-talkers to be able to make sounds and feel part of the story telling.
What we did today…
Well, we got the book off the shelf and sat together on the sofa. I made sure that we followed the film and book together so each page went with the part on the screen. I wanted J to be able to make this not about being a tv programmed/film but about it complimenting the book. Literacy is so important and it’s amazing how often children think that characters are from a tv programme and they then made a book about it (e.g.: Postman Pat was an example at preschool once).
Anyway, back to Mummy-mode.
We had fun laughing at the dog and finding the ducks. J looked at the book and the screen with interest. He listened to me making the sounds and saying the famous ‘We’re going on a bear hunt…’ lines. J even went “ooooooo” when it was the snowy page/’woooooooo, woooooo’. Honestly could have just cried with pride that he made a verbal sound!
What did we think of the TV version?
We both really enjoyed it. It gave a whole new meaning to the book and the characters. I had always assumed the tall male in the book was Dad so to find it’s the brother in this version was a twist (it was originally the father in the illustrations in the 25th anniversary Edition I gather from a quote by Michel Rosen). I’m not sure why it had to have the sad undertone to it with the passing of the Grandfather as it always seemed such an upbeat story to me but I guess there was a reason….I might google it, haha.
J watched it right to the end. Then he surprised me and cried at the end when the bear stopped, looked at the moon and carried on to the cave. Not sure what that was about but he need a really long hug and reassurance that the bear had ‘gone to bed’ to make him happy again.
So, overall a great speech and communication opportunity for us. I may look into more books with accompanying DVDs. Any recommendations?
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt 25th Anniversary Edition. M. Rosen and H. Oxenbury, 2014 edition. Published by Walker Books Ltd.