Hamburger Bear Girl: its not a thing!
June 27, 2010 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Are there any books out there involving a girl eating burgers and turning into an animal?

Honestly, this is the more ridiculous of the questions I've asked of MetaFilter. It is entirely on the behalf of a friend, whose mind may have snapped trying to establish its existence.

It is, he thinks, a book. In the book, a girl — who he's keen to point out 'might be Jewish' — at some point eats a hamburger. Then turns into a bear. Though he hasn't expanded on it, I would assume it to be the classic grizzly brown type.

That's it. That is all we know. We have long been on this quest for evidence of this 'Hamburger Bear Girl', as she's now known. I have tried any number of queries on Google. I have purchased "The Little Girl and the Big Bear" and discovered that isn't it. Any resolution at this point would be most welcome.

The worst case scenario is MeFi cannot conclusively proof it exists, so we endure a friend's amiable, stubborn ways. Oh, and next time he searches Google, this thread will give him false hope.

Thanks, MeFites!
posted by Smoosh Faced Lion to Writing & Language (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Does he have any idea of the year he saw this?
posted by Ouisch at 12:14 PM on June 27, 2010

Is the hamburger consumption directly related to the girl's transformation?

If not, perhaps it was one of the several dozen books in the Animorphs series
posted by Think_Long at 12:15 PM on June 27, 2010

Yes, I was thinking perhaps Animorphs, specifically the girl Rachel. It may not be that particular book, but perhaps another in the series.
posted by Ouisch at 12:16 PM on June 27, 2010

This Wikipedia entry mentions that Rachel is Jewish.
posted by Ouisch at 12:20 PM on June 27, 2010

This reminds me of... Burger Baby!
posted by alex_skazat at 12:22 PM on June 27, 2010

The closest I've found to this is an out of print book called Ursula Bear which someone describes as "about a girl that turns into a bear when she eats this magic recipe (a currant bun with porridge and honey) and to turn back into a human she has to eat burger and chips or somethin."

However, Novelist has it that the girl turns into a bear by a magic potion. I'm not sure which is correct; has no plot description, there's scant info about the book online, and our library doesn't have the book.

I've searched Novelist for all sorts of other combinations of and variants of your terms but haven't found anything particularly promising (just a lot of things that match two or three of the points but not all of them). I'll keep searching and post back if I find it.
posted by johnofjack at 12:47 PM on June 27, 2010

Nthing Think_Long and Ouisch - I was thinking Rachel from the Animorphs. My son used to read that series when he was younger.
posted by garnetgirl at 1:37 PM on June 27, 2010

I remember reading Ursula Bear. I'm pretty sure it didn't involve a magic potion -- the girl definitely eats one meal to turn into a bear and another (different) meal to turn back.

"Currant bun with porridge and honey" rings a bell, and a burger and chips could well have been the meal she ate to turn back human.

Your profile says you're in Norwich -- I take it your friend is British too? Ursula Bear is by a British author and is still available in lots of British libraries.
posted by matthewr at 2:26 PM on June 27, 2010

I can't easily ask him for a couple of days, but he is of his mid-twenties, and it has always been implied that is was long enough ago that he was at most an adolescent. This, I think, lends credence to the Animorphs idea, which I will put to him.

As his memory of the whole is so wildly vague, I cannot easily suggest whether or not the girl's hamburger eating was directly correlated to turning into a bear. Certainly that's how its been told to me, but it has become somewhat of a campfire fairytale between us, and aspects of it may have become lost or confused in our group memory.

The Ursula Bear lead is also good, but as of last week he divulged having found a forum thread describing a similar book to what he (we've) described, only to read the complete description and know intrinsically that wasn't it. Its not beyond the realms of possibility that the Ursula Bear thread is the very same.

These leads shall be investigated by us when I next speak him, and I shall update as soon as I'm able to confirm anything further. Your input so far is wonderfully appreciated :)
posted by Smoosh Faced Lion at 2:35 PM on June 27, 2010

Probably not the right answer: was she perhaps a member of the Skrull Kill Krew?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:39 PM on June 27, 2010

There is book by Christopher Pike where something similar happens. I read it in 6th grade, so my memory is hazy. From what I recall, a girl is transformed (I forget how exactly) into a wolf or bear type of creature. While still in human form, she has a meat craving and order some fast food. The fast food she orders is not enough to satisfy her, so she orders more, without the fries and with the meat cooked extra rare. She then starts to prey on humans.
posted by seesom at 7:10 PM on June 27, 2010

I think it's The Experiment in the Animorphs series.

Wikipedia confirms a burger-related plot and that Rachel morphs into a grizzly in that book.
posted by tantivy at 12:16 AM on June 28, 2010


Really, I have no idea. I would not be surprised if you are asking how to get mental heath assistance for your friend next week. But there is a story on pseudopod about a Inuit medicine woman to transforms into a polar bear and apparently this is a fairly common myth in some Native American cultures, so maybe you could start looking in that arena.

Probably unhelpful link.
posted by chairface at 12:19 PM on June 28, 2010

BitterOldPunk: I love the idea that its the Skrull Kill Krew, because both my partner and the friend are giant comic nerds who'd get a kick from it, but it is apparently not.

To give an actual update: I have presented the compiled options to said friend, and shown him the covers of the various titles. Ursula Bear sounded pretty much bang-on to him*, and seeing the sleeve artwork further elevated its chances. Whilst I have still to acquire as many of them as possible to confirm if we've got a hit, we think you may have sunk our battleship. Personally, I thought the Christopher Pike lead might be a good one, but I was genuinely scoffed at for it. Apparently its very much the wrong genre. As if we'd know.

I do not know how soon I will be able to mark this as resolved, but I'm actually eagarly anticipating the chance to do so.

If anyone has, for whatever reason, thought up more options, they are still welcome. At this point I think having a veritable collection of stories pertaining to such a ludicrous premise might be a treasure in itself.

* we are both British, yes.
posted by Smoosh Faced Lion at 2:06 PM on July 5, 2010

So -- was it definitely Ursula Bear!?
posted by matthewr at 4:41 PM on July 27, 2010

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