We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Michael Rosen, Helen Oxenbury (illus.)

We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Walker Books Ltd
United Kingdom
28 October 1993

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Michael Rosen, Helen Oxenbury (illus.)

For brave hunters and bear-lovers, the classic chant-aloud by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.

Follow and join in the family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest!


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is a delightful tale of an adventure-seeking family. The group of thrill-seekers traverse a variety of terrains and finally brave a deep, dark cave, only to discover the bear they are indeed searching for!

Author Michael Rosen originally performed this children’s folk song as part of his poetry shows, but was convinced it would make a good children’s book. With some additions to the original and inspired onomatopoeia (‘squishy squashy’ for grass, ‘squelch squerch’ for mud), the book needed an illustrator with vision.

Enter Helen Oxenbury and her beautiful illustrations, so full of life and movement. She came up with the idea to do black-and-white drawings for when the children were contemplating an action and colour for when they were actually doing it.

The emotional climax comes not when the family escape the chasing bear back to the safety of their home, but on the very last page when we see the bear with shoulders drooped, slowly walking back to his cave. Did he perhaps just want some company?

Morgana Keating

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