Written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt will make children long to go on a bear hunt of their own.
Some children’s books are about the journey and not the destination and this is one of those books. Though the family – a father and his four children – are on a hunt for a bear, they have a marvelous time during their search for one, moving over grassy slopes, wavy grass, crossing rivers, and squashing through mud. What happens when they finally catch a bear? Nothing! They don’t catch him and instead he chases them all the way back home! So much for bear hunting.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt truly is a fun book for everyone. Words are fun for kids to say, such as, “swishy swashy,” “squelch, squerch,” and “tiptoe, tiptoe.” Repetitive text can help younger children learn as they follow the family on their quest to catch a bear. The pictures go well with each obstacle the family encounters with gentle coloring and pretty landscapes. There are some black and white pictures, but when there is color, the illustrations become progressively darker as the family nears the bear cave.
The success of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt has lead to the creation of board books, hardcover picture books, and the occasional book and toy package so that kids don’t need to hunt any bears – they already have one. From infants to children as old as eight, this book is one that can be enjoyed time and time again.