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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, ill. Helen Oxenbury

To help out families stuck in their homes with small children, people have been creating videos of people reading picture books. And WHAT, I ask you, is a better readaloud than this storytime classic? Nothing, I tells ya! Nothing! Kate gets introduced to Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury for the very first time. Imagine showing someone who has never seen this story performed for small children encountering this book without that bit of context. We spend a bit of time considering the bear’s motives here. Maybe the bear has come out of hibernation is starving. Maybe it’s lonely. And maybe this is just a great book through and through. Maybe.

Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, PlayerFM, or your preferred method of podcast selection.

Show Notes:

You probably won’t be able to read it in full but here is the 2014 Telegraph article about the book, but it’s there in case you need it.

Kate had a point. I’m a bit baffled. First you see the younger sister with her shoes off, then in the next shot she appears to be putting them on BEFORE traipsing through mud. Confoosing.

The case of the mysterious pants. One minute their muddy, the next . . . foof!

“There’s a blizzard? Where do they live? The Midwest?” Kate makes a good point about typical spring weather.

I don’t know much about dogs, but that ain’t a bear fighting dog, folks. That’s a border collie.

So as the older sister drags the baby (who aside from the dog is the only person taking this seriously) to its certain death . . .

Sorry, kids! You’re on your own! If this really is the dad, he has some work to do on his parenting/fleeing for your life skills.

“I do like how the baby has a stuffed bear, even as there’s a bear outside, ready to maul the family.”

To my mind, this last image is the strangest and most impressive. It just sort of shoots the whole enterprise up a level.

This book made #12 on my Top 100 Board Books Poll.

Here is Michael Rosen performing this book by his very own self:

Did you think I was kidding about the parody book? Oh, ye of little faith:

And here is the video that Kate recommended. I present to you, Black Violin:

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. There’s an animated short of the book (I assume it’s Weston Woods, because it’s always Weston Woods) that adds a subplot, possibly inspired by the final image: one of the daughters recognizes that the bear is nice and just wants to make friends. If I remember correctly, she convinces everyone to come out of the house to play with the bear at the end.

  2. Sarah Shapiro says:

    OMG Betsy. I can’t wait to hear what you think of Wide Sargasso Sea. I read it last year. It’s super weird. I think I’m just not used to the style of writing!

    • I’m looking forward to it! Mind you, I tend to listen to my audiobooks when I’m walking to work and . . . well . . . that’s not really happening so much these days, eh? But once everything’s open again I’ll download that puppy lightning quick!

  3. I just listened to the We’re Going on a Bear Hunt episode, thank you! I’m from Australia, so the idea of going on a bear hunt here can only be imaginary – similar going searching for a monster – a bit scary, a bit exciting but all make believe (since there are no bears here). Maybe it’s similar for the author and illustrator as they were based in England? This would also help to explain the snow storm and poorly chosen attire. Anything goes in your imagination! It was interesting to hear this book read from the perspectives of people who may actually come across bears! Thanks again.