It seems to be a year for anniversaries of children’s books and lucky for me it has included the indisputably cute Alfie and now the perennial read aloud We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. This Interview with author Michael Rosen and illustrator Helen Oxenbury gives some lovely insight into how this book evolved and is a delightful exchange by two icons of children’s book publishing. I especially enjoyed hearing how the author (Rosen) envisaged a totally different set of characters than Helen Oxenbury created, yet the book still works wonderfully well.
This was the story that we read over and over again, I only wish I could have made the wonderful squelching noises that Michael Rosen can produce. The line
We’re going on a bear hunt, it’s going to be a big one, we’re not scared
still resonates in my mind and is equal to
and along came Hairy Maclary from Donaldsons Dairy
in terms of repetition that never grows tiresome. Michael Rosen says he has told this story thousands of times, and at times I feel that I wasn’t far behind him as night after night all sorts of squelching, wooshing and sploshing noises emanated from my childrens’ bedrooms.
They are are older now, but I would love to know what are today’s great re-alouds, perhaps I will be able to put some aside for the hoped for grandchildren!