Wednesday, July 15, 2020

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury




1990, first published 1989   

This is a picture book that has already become a classic. A bear is an extremely big deal. There are plenty of other hazards as well on the way as the family goes to look for the bear. . They have to wade through long grass, a river and squelchy mud.  They have to make their way through a dark forest. The weather turns nasty. They find the bear in a gloomy cave and run for their lives. They get back home but the bear remains a threat and turns up at their house. The family resolves not to go bear-hunting again. The bear sneaks away, back to his cave home near the sea. 

There are some dark details here but the book remains entertaining with its strong rhythms and exciting tension. And perhaps children like to be scared.  
There is some very rhythmic language that sounds almost like the beating of a drum. There is a lot of repetition.    
The story is told over sixteen double spreads with more story detail in the pictures which sometimes take up double spreads or single spreads. On a few pages there are several pictures on one page.   
It is quite a large book, almost square but tending towards landscape. The font is large and simple which would make the text accessible to early readers. In places it is very large implying loud noises, fear or surprise.   


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