chapter  7
4 Pages

More monsters and bears

The aesthetic strength of a picture book is determined by its combination of words and images but much has to be noted in the wordplay. Picture books such as Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Rosen and Oxenbury 1989) continue to be popular with young children long after the first ‘reading’.This is partly because while its visual composition conveys a good sense of motion, a journey there and back, what really pulls the story along, to paraphrase Margaret Meek, is the rhythmic sense of the wordplay.The fact that the book can be acted out, makes it more like a game than a reading exercise; it is a fun, interactive story of a family on a journey which lends itself to a textual event beyond the mere reading of the book. Built on the old ‘bear hunt’ campfire chant,

We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We’re not scared. Oh-oh!