Books & Literature

Book Review: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (30th Anniversary Edition), by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one. Will you come too?

Celebrate 30 wonderful years of We're Going on a Bear Hunt in this special anniversary edition of the much-loved family favourite.

It has been 30 years since We’re Going on a Bear Hunt first hit our bookshops. It has been a loved book on many shelves and a whole generation of adults can recall this rhyming story. It was originally adapted from an American folk song.

Five children and their dog set out on a hunt to find a bear. They travel through different terrains before coming across an actual bear in a cave. The family then run all the way home through each terrain, followed by the bear. It is written in rhyme form and uses repetition.

Over the past 30 years, this book has won numerous awards. Rosen’s narrative and Oxenbury’s illustrations have withstood the test of time. It has never been out of print and has always been a big seller. It could be called a classic. This special edition has a snow globe on the front cover which will appeal to younger readers.

This picture book has been used by teachers and parents for many years. The great rhyming helps children with their literacy and the repetitive nature of the book allows younger readers to memorise the story. It is a perfect story to echo. It can be used in clapping games, and the story can easily be acted out as part of their drama lessons. There are lots of emotions used in the book and this also helps young readers learn to empathise with the characters.

It is sad when much loved books are removed from library shelves or thrown away and there is no opportunity to revisit them. Often grownups like to buy their favourite stories for their own children, and teachers who have used them as a staple in their reading programme find them difficult to replace. With this reprint of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, there is the opportunity to introduce a whole new generation to a much loved book.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

Distributed by: Walker Books Australia
Re-Released: December 2018
RRP: $44.99 hardcover

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