We're Going on a Bear Hunt (Walker story board books) £2.19 at Amazon
When Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury's family go on a bear hunt, they are full of the bravado and confidence that the knowledge of failure brings:
We're going on a bear hunt,
We're going to catch a big one.
What a beautiful day!
We're not scared.
Caves, mud, rivers, forest … whatever obstacles the family encounters, they overcome with reassuring ease. But when their quest is successful, they decide bear hunts are not to be repeated.
Chunkily manageable for little hands, repetition of the "We can't go over it. / We can't go under it. / Oh no! / We've got to go through it" kind, and frequent onomatopoeia ("Swishy Swashy … Splash Splosh … Hoooo Woooo") will maintain interest for even the youngest of listeners.
The only disappointment in this wipe-clean board book is that the colour story boards are alternated with less interesting black-and-white ones, but apart from that Helen Oxenbury keeps to her usual high standard of illustration and, combined with Michael Rosen's delightful tale, it's easy to see why We're Going on a Bear Hunt is a former winner of the Smarties Prize. (Ages 3 to 5.)