The delight of Michael Rosen’s 1989 story, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, is its upbeat effortlessness. Four youngsters take off on a meander, droning a senseless tune about hunting a bear: they get somewhat wet, somewhat sloppy and somewhat icy, lastly somewhat terrified. In any case, phew, everything turns out fine at last.
It’s the ideal story for minimal ones, with its Famous Five-style guiltlessness, fun onomatopoeic words (“swishy swashy”, “squelch squerch”), and magnificently reminiscent delineations by Helen Oxenbury.
There’s most sufficiently likely there for a 10-minute TV adjustment, yet not thirty minutes, which is the thing that Channel 4 offered us on Christmas Eve. Outwardly, it was overwhelming, a touchy inspiration of Oxenbury’s liquid watercolors.