About the Book

“The Bear Went Over The Mountain” by John Tams and Andy Mayers, explores and encourages the gentle but threatened art of storytelling.

The Bear Went over the Mountain, a freestyle story telling book

The Book

Aimed at 5-plus years – over 2 books.

The Bear Went Over the Mountain – Book One

The Wordbook – the story – in a version. What follows, having read The Wordbook and set aside, out of reach, is up to the Storyteller – remember – forget – improve – improvise – take ownership –  in a freestyle telling led by the page-turner of (Book Two) – the listener.

The Bear Went Over the Mountain – Book Two

The Picture Book, urging the teller to dance around the images creating their own unique story.

Scan the QR codes included through the book on your smart phone or tablet and listen, sing along or dance.

Book spreads

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

The Song

John writes:

The song for me is about striving, not giving in to challenges, succeeding through tenacity only to find another mountain to climb.

Little is known of the song’s provenance. We just don’t know.

The tune, apparently French, early 18th century but the words, in both their cases, remain shadowy.

For Andy and myself, however, “The Bear Went Over The Mountain,” intrigues and welcomes all of us to the wonderfully engaging world of nursery rhyme, so embedded in mystery and inviting interpretation.

Alongside our hopes to further encourage freestyle storytelling we have attached some music, rare in a children’s book, (see and scan the QR codes) to listen and maybe offer a little dance – freestyle too?

As Ursa says:

“Life gives you mountains.”


Dr. John Tams

Award Winning Musician, Actor and Writer

John Tams described by Mojo as ‘one of the ultimate British songwriters’ has had a career spanning four decades in every medium.

A member of the Albion Band and Home Service he is perhaps best known for his work at the National Theatre and as Rifleman Daniel Hagman in the Sharpe television series. He is a five times winner of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Find out more about John Tams


Andy Mayers

Graphic Designer, Artist and Illustrator

Andy has worked as a Graphic Designer for the last 35 years. His work as an artist covers a variety of media, traditional painting and drawing as well as digital painting techniques. More recently, he has created memorial sculptures in Metal.

Find out more about Andy Mayers

Andy Mayers - Illustrator of The Bear Went Over the Mountain

Dave Vowles Photography


Order your copy here now.