Channel 4 to adapt Bear Hunt picture book

Channel 4 to adapt Bear Hunt picture book

Channel 4 is set to broadcast a 30-minute animation based on Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s bestselling picture book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

The channel’s chief executive officer Jay Hunt and head of drama Piers Wenger commissioined the programme, striking a deal with Walker Productions’ Helen McAleer and Julia Posen, both of whom will act as executive producers on the show. The show will be produced by Lupus Films, who made the TV show 'The Snowman and The Snowdog', and directed by Joanna Harrison and Robin Shaw.

The animation will incorporate the original story and artwork of the book, and will air in 2016.

Rosen said he was “absolutely delighted” his book will become a TV programme. “Lupus have a great record in this field and I am very excited to be part of the project. Helen Oxenbury's wonderful art work provides a powerful family saga, full of imagined or real trials and these pictures will give a basis for a moving Christmas drama.”

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is one of the bestselling picture books of all time. In February, it was one of only two books (the other being Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Puffin)) that notched up 1,000 weeks in BookScan’s Total Consumer Market Top 5,000.

The book has achieved global sales of more than 9 million copies and has been published in 23 languages including Chinese, Russian and Maori, according to Walker.