Since my last baby book review went down so well, I have decided to create a weekly series and call it the ever-so-catchy #badbabybookreview‘.
Today, we’ll be reviewing the baby board book ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ for some life lessons on what not to do at the weekend.
So, I give you…
Have you ever woken up one sunny Sunday morning and thought, I know, today I’ll take the kids Tiger tracking? Or perhaps we’ll go swimming with Great White Sharks.
No? You haven’t?
Well why on earth are we joining a fictional family on a bear hunt then?
The book follows the journey of Mum, Dad, their three children and faithful Border Collie as they embark on a perilous journey in their casual spring attire to find a bear. An actual bear. With nothing but a single twig to protect them. I’m no expert on bear tracking, but I’d say that this falls very short of a number of health and safety regulations for a start.
Nevertheless, they seem pretty pleased about this outing. So we join them with the optimism that the bear hunt is nothing more than an elaborate game to keep the children entertained on the most horrific Sunday walk imaginable.
How is the narrative introduced?
The opening few lines give us readers a clear indication of where this story is headed by informing us that not only are we searching for bears, we’re looking to trap a large one. How we’re planning on tracking and baiting the bear is not evident – but from the rest of the book, we can glean that it’s actually just walking about willy nilly until we find one. Needless to say, this should not be used as an instruction manual for bear hunting since it skips out on many an important step for the avid bear-baiter.
One other important message right at the start of the story is that this family is not scared at the thought of finding and catching this wild animal. To be completely honest, I have to question the parenting ability here, as to teach your children to fearlessly hunt ruthless, wild beasts is probably taking character-building a bit too far. You may as well just throw them off the highest diving board or drop them into the alligator pen in a zoo (would require far less effort on your part).
What are the main obstacles in the story?
- Grass: The family first encounter long grass on their stroll, which is pretty standard if you live out in the countryside like me. However, the grass is ridiculously high and I’d hate to know what kind of creatures are lurking about underneath (although I’d rather encounter a grass snake than a bear to be fair).
- River: If this was my bear hunt, the story would be over right at the moment we wander up to the banks of this ‘deep, cold river’. F-off am I going anywhere near the water in my bloody sundress. But no, this family appear to be the adventurous type as they hop straight in. In their clothes. No towels, no swimsuits, no dignity by the looks of it. Oh, but at least they remember to take their shoes off. I think wet shoes would be the least of my worries here.
- Mud: No sooner have they waded, chest-deep, through the river, they come across a great big patch of muddy ground. Thankfully, they seem to have dried off pretty quickly (must be a really hot day), although I still would not like to continue this journey with the inevitable ‘damp knicker’ feeling. But clearly that’s just me. So off the poor family go – squelching through thick mud despite the fact that they just got cleaned off in the river. Shame it wasn’t the other way round really.
- Forest: OK, I could probably handle a forest – this would have been part of a standard Sunday morning walk in my childhood. If you’re ‘fake‘ looking for a bear, this would be a great place to end the hell that you’ve endured to encourage your kids to exercise a bit.
- Snowstorm: But no, you must continue because you haven’t actually caught a bear yet and to go home when faced with a bit of howling wind and driving snow would be to teach your children to pussy out when times get tough. Or so these parents must be thinking. Again, I have a right mind to report them to a fictional authority for child cruelty considering they are making those poor kids trek through the snow without coats in damp clothing. If they aren’t mauled to death by a bear, don’t worry they’ll just die of pneumonia.
So we’ve followed the intrepid (and downright irresponsible) explorers through a whole load of crap to end up at the mouth of a cave. Now, anyone could tell you that entering a dark cave is dangerous, but since they’ve been through a lot of adversity already, I think we all know what they’re going to do.
And guess what? There’s a sodding bear in the cave.
Fancy taking your children into the lair of a bear! You’re basically the takeaway delivery drivers of the natural world. These people literally have no concept of responsibility. I bet they throw coffee cups out of their car window on the motorway. Bastards.
So this great, big grisly chases them back through all of the obstacles listed above (yep, more damp knickers involved) and into their house.
Where they forget to shut the front door.
Let’s just pause on that information for a second. A murderous monster is chasing you, presumably to eat you and your entire family, and you only just remember to shut the door with seconds to spare. I’m sorry, but in my opinion, you deserve to become his dinner. I have no sympathy for the pathologically stupid.
Finally, they all get into bed and hide under the covers (great protection there) and determine that will never go hunting for bears again. Woop-de-f***ing do Donald, so you figured it out in the end then? Bear hunting is not a family activity – any old drunkard in the street could tell you that.
My recommendation for this book would be to have these children removed from their parents immediately and put into the system whereby they would get to experience normal childhood activities like finger painting and cake baking. I think the dog should also be removed by the RSPCA and rehomed with a family who take it on walkies no further than the local park. Enough said.