The Bear, the Piano and Little Bear’s Concert
The Bear, The Piano and Little Bear’s Concert
David Litchfield. London: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, pb, 978 0 7112 4724 6, 2020, £11.99, 40pp.
Picture book, fiction, 4-7 years
This is the third book of ‘The Bear and the Piano’ trilogy. It follows on from ‘The Bear and the Piano’ and ‘The Bear, the Piano, the Dog and the Fiddle’.
Told in a similar format to the first two books, Little Bear’s voice shines through as she strives to hear her Dad play the piano once again. You may well remember, the first story where the bear found the piano in the middle of the woods and upon playing it grew to become a musical star of some stature. These times are remembered in this book and ‘Dad’ recollects his happiness when playing in front of his fans, millions of them whilst achieving his wildest dreams and ambitions.
Dad doesn’t play anymore and the piano is enmeshed in weeds in the middle of the woods, overgrown and forlorn. Dad doesn’t play anymore having retired from the huge audiences that adored his music. There is no applause and Dad is so sad. But events take an about-turn when Little Bear, full of life, excitement and so inquisitive, stumbles on the old piano in the woods. ‘Why don’t you play anymore’ she asks her dad. ‘No one wants to listen to a silly old bear like me’ he sighs. But Little bear has other ideas and is desperate to find a way of giving her dad the opportunity to play again and restore his confidence in his music. She has a plan, but will it work?
With a front cover very similar to those of the first two books in the trilogy. David Litchfield’s storytelling and accompanying illustrations shine through. The colour palette of the trees in the woods is slightly different on each double-page spread, and there is a real joy in the images highlighted by the use of light within them. This book is fitting to the trilogy where old and young come together to fulfil a dream of a life gone by in a future full of hope.
A story that marries the dreams that have been achieved and should never be forgotten with the joy of youth and a desire to know about the past. This story is a heartwarming tale for young and old alike, a tale of friendship, family and ultimately a tale of hope and joy.
Review by Dr Karenanne Knight