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The Bear and the Piano Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A young bear finds a piano in the middle of the forest and begins to play. Initially turned off by the awful sound, he leaves but soon returns to try again. The bear continues to practice for years and years until he can play like a virtuoso. Not only does his playing give him immense pleasure but the other bears are enchanted as well. When a boy and a girl discover the bear's amazing talent, they convince him to move to the city. Sad to leave his friends but excited to explore another world, he ventures forth and becomes a sensation. After much fame and accolades, the bear realizes that he misses his friends and decides to return home. He is heartsick when he can't find his piano in the woods and assumes they have all forgotten him. Happiness is restored when he learns his friends have kept the piano in the shade to protect it and were eagerly awaiting his return. 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. The story encourages young ones to follow their dreams and pursue their unique talents. VERDICT A wonderful addition for all collections.-Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, St. Joseph, MIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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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Top customer reviews
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!
Well written and well drawn, this book has a heart-warming message. Everyone should have such a bear as a friend!