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Classic children’s book retold with a kiwi twist

Nov 11th, 2015 | By | Category: Arts/Entertainment, Front Page Layout, Latest News

CLASSIC children’s book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, has been retold with a distinctly kiwi twist with the help of a Petone artist.

right side

Patrick McDonald with a copy of We’re going on a Moa Hunt.

We’re going on a Moa Hunt’ was adapted and published by Penguin Random House Zealand and illustrated by Petone’s Patrick McDonald.

The book spent seven weeks in the Neilsen Weekly Bestsellers New Zealand Children and Teens top 10 list.

The story follows a group of children on their quest to find the Moa, which replaces the bear in the original book.

Mr McDonald says he thinks the New Zealand setting will help Kiwi children relate to the story.

“Whenever there’s something that children can relate to in picture books, it makes it a lot more engaging.”

“We’ve gotten so used to seeing panoramic, picturesque depictions of New Zealand in the media and I think it makes sense that that’s also represented somewhere in the picture book media as well.”

Mr McDonald says he felt pressure to do the original book justice, but equally thought his illustrations needed to be different.

“There was a lot of opportunity to make it a lot more modernised and, I suppose bolder in a lot of ways.

“We don’t need two We’re going on a Bear Hunts,” he says.

Computer software was used to vividly illustrate a wide range of New Zealand scenery, flora and fauna.

He says the technique contrasts sharply with the watercolours and softer colour palate of the original book.

Mr McDonald says he is fond of the original story, written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, having reread the book many times since he was child.

He says the story has a simple and effective structure, is memorable and easily lends itself to being adapted and retold.

An Australian version, We’re going on a Croc Hunt, has also previously been published as has tongue-in-cheek drinking adaption, We’re Going on a Bar Hunt: A Parody.

We’re going on a Moa Hunt is the second children’s book Mr Mcdonald has illustrated.

Mr McDonald gained his first children’s book credit, A perfect chirpy Christmas, as part of a prize for winning the 2013 Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for his illustration.

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