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The Bear and the Piano Hardcover – Illustrated, April 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Amazon Overall Top 20 Children’s Books of 2016
Amazon, Best Children’s Books of the Year Ages 3 to 5
Kirkus Best of 2016
School Library Journal’s Fuse#8 Best of 2016
* "Litchfield’s multilayered mixed-media illustrations gracefully portray dappled forest groves, the energy of a packed concert hall, and the simultaneous bustle and solitude of city life. The bear’s emotions—contentment, pride, uncertainty, relief—are captured with equal skill in a tenderly moving story about embracing one’s potential while remembering one’s roots."
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
* "This is one of those rare books that children can return to again and again through the years, each time finding new meaning appropriate to their varying ages and stages...Litchfield's poignant debut picture book celebrates both the wonders of wandering far in pursuit of one's dreams and the sweet comfort of returning home."
—Kirkus, STARRED review
"Litchfield’s debut picture book is a visual feast. Using a variety of different techniques and then digitally assembling them, he has produced a story filled with verdant and luminous images that create an enchanting atmosphere."
—School Library Journal
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When a little bear discovers a piano in the forest glen, he diligently practices until he is an accomplished pianist. While his forest friends enjoy his concerts and praise him, the bear wants to venture into the wider world. There he reaches the heights of fame and fortune, but realizes they are not all there is in life. He is missing the true friendship he enjoyed while living in the forest. Returning to the forest, bear discovers that the fears he held about going home and the apprehension he felt were unwarranted. The joyful reunion with his friends and the happiness he finds once more remind children that fame and fortune are not the be-all and end-all in life.
Beautiful, vibrantly colored illustrations add to the overall appeal of "The Bear and the Piano". The details are often so subtle that even after multiple readings of the book, you will discover new facets to the pictures that will add to your enjoyment of the story.
It did not disappoint. The story is one that will enchant adults as well as appeal to children. The story is sweet, the bear is so very likable, and the bond that he has with his friends is what makes the story so very special. Not only is the story one that children won't get tired of hearing, the pictures are also magical and enduring. The bear matures and leaves home, but never forgets his friends and what they mean to him. In the end, he realizes what is important in his life. I am already anticipating the smiles I will see on the children's faces when I read this story to them for the first time.
I highly recommend this book. It is truly a keeper!
Top international reviews
But, instead, I'll just say all four of my kids, of differing ages, loved it. And so did I.
Winner of the best illustrated book in 2016 and well deserved. Richly illustrated and really helps to convey the story.
I am so impressed with how beautiful this book is wrote and I'm so pleased I can help build upon her language with it.
This is a wonderful book and deserves to become a classic. I thoroughly recommend it.