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Fulfill Dreams through Music “The Snowman and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”

Fulfill Dreams through Music  “The Snowman and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”

by LAN Tsu-wei

 

The Snowman and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt are two world-renowned picture books that introduce a similar theme: What adventures will children embark on if their parents are not home?
 

In 1982, famous English graphic novelist Raymond BRIGGS wrote The Snowman using 167 pictures. The story became a Christmas legend that touches on the dream of most children. Said dream is as follows: The snowmen that children build are more than just figures standing in their front yards; they are friends who can play with the children, share thoughts with the children, and take the children to meet Santa Claus.
 

The picture book tells the story that transpires on a snowy night without the use of a single word. The interaction between the boy and the snowman is told using Howard BLAKE’s musical notes to imitate and describe the interaction between the boy and the snowman, and theme song Walking in the Air is utilized to show that people’s dream of flying can be fulfilled.
 

In We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, written by English children’s novelist and Children’s Laureate Michael ROSEN, countless onomatopoeia is used to describe the journey of five children walking on grass, traveling through mountains, and wading in search of a bear. The use of onomatopoeia such as “swishy swashy,” “splash splosh,” “squelch squelch,” “hoooo woooo! hoooo woooo,” and “tiptoe tiptoe tiptoe” produces not only sounds but vivid images, inspiring composer Stuart HANCOCK to use musical notes to reproduce the adventure. Every part of the music echoes the fun and appeal of the plot.
 

The Snowman emphasizes the friendship between the boy and the snowman, whereas We’re Going on a Bear Hunt focuses on the innocence of the girls and the bear. Both stories mention scarves; in The Snowman, the boy is given a blue scarf with snowman pattern after visiting the home of Santa Claus; whereas in We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, a little girl puts her green scarf on the bear’s neck to keep it warm. After the snowman melts, only the blue scarf remains, confirming that the journey is not a dream. Similarly, the bear walks back to its cave with a scarf, which is a memorable gift that it will never forget.

The Snowman

 

 

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