Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Bear and the Piano, written by David Litchfield, reviewed by Klaudia Janek

Student Reviewer: Madeleine S. 
Summary: The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield sends the message of chasing your dreams through the adventures of a bear who discovers a piano. The bear first discovers the piano not knowing what it is or how it works, but by returning and practicing every day, the bear learns to play the piano beautifully. He performs for the other bears in his forest and is soon discovered by humans, becomes famous, and achieves his dreams to play in front of large crowds on broadway. However, while the bear is away chasing his dreams, he misses his friends, and the book finishes with him going back to the forest to visit his friends. He is scared that they had forgotten about him, but when he returns, he realizes that his friends did not forget about him. The illustrations are beautiful and very detailed in that the colors and the softness or sharpness of the illustration helps capture the tone of the message.

Straight Talk for Librarians: The first message of the source is very age appropriate in which it teaches younger audiences that it takes time, practice, and dedication to achieve something you wish to achieve, and it will be a rough start. I also feel that the second message, where friends and family will always be there to support you and your journey is very important. There is also the idea of following your passions. Exploring the world outside of what is familiar to you. Many adventures await us in life and we should be prepared to embrace it, but also remember where we came from. In terms of the illustrations, they are detailed, but have a softer look with added depth that is not too harsh, and a dreamy-like texture to the illustrations to demonstrate curiosity. When the plot turns to the bear’s fame and adventures on Broadway, the illustrations become more intricate to represent the vibrant chaos, bringing about excitement from the reader. I feel that this book would catch the attention of younger readers from the illustrations, the way the text is written with emphasis on important words, and the messages being conveyed are significant to the growth and maturation of young readers. The story is a bit of a tear-jerker, so be prepared if you use this book for a whole class read aloud. Every library should have this beautiful book. It is especially perfect for the budding musician.

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