The Bear and the Piano

Welcoming back Perfect Picture Book Friday with a gem that I happened upon over the summer. img_1116

Title: The Bear and the Piano
Written and Illustrated by: David Litchfield
Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, fiction
Suitable for ages: 4-7
Lexile: AD620
Themes/topics: friendship, music, bears, following a dream

Opening:
One day in the forest, a young bear cub found something he’d never seen before. What could this strange thing be? he thought. Shyly, he touched it with his stubby paws.
Plonk! The strange thing made an awful sound.

Brief synopsis: (from the publisher)
One day, a bear cub finds something strange and wonderful in the forest. When he touches the keys, they make a horrible noise. Yet he is drawn back again and again. Eventually, he learns to play beautiful sounds, delighting his woodland friends.
Then the bear is invited to share his sounds with new friends in the city. He longs to explore the world beyond his home, and to play bigger and better than before. But he knows that if he leaves, the other bears will be very sad . . .

Activities and Resources:
Teaching Ideas
Author website
• Explore how different kinds of music make you feel.
• Look back at the scene that “makes the bear’s fur stand on end.” Create a tribute to honor a friend. Consider varied art forms such as a poem, a song, a collage, a drawing, painting, ornaments for a tree…

Why I like LOVE this book:
The first time I read this story, I liked it. The second time, as I took time to absorb it on another level, I loved it.

This beautiful, gentle, and meaningful book is about so much:
• The allure of music and its power to transport, inspire dreams, and soothe the soul.
• Curiosity and the drive to follow a dream
• Fame
• The importance of personal relationships
• True friendship
• The pull of home
But while it’s about so much, the story, as well as the amazing illustrations, feel light, simple, and heartfelt.

Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent resources.


6 thoughts on “The Bear and the Piano

  1. I always loved the piano, Beth. In fact, I bought a second hand piano with the first money I earned as a teacher. That was almost 50 years ago…and guess what? I still have that piano…it traveled from Connecticut to Colorado and now we have it in New Hampshire. Thys looks like a precious story…thank you so much for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

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