The Bear and the Piano is a lovely book written and illustrated by David Litchfield.
You can read my review of his other book The Bear, The Piano, The Dog & the Fiddle here.
The Bear and the Piano is the story of a bear who, one day when he is very young, finds a piano in the middle of the forest. He has a go at playing this object and when he touches it, the thing makes a sound he has never heard before. Startled, he runs off.
The bear comes back to the piano day after day, each time having a go at touching this object and becoming more and more familiar and comfortable with the sounds it makes. He goes from just touching the piano to playing it beautifully.
One day, the bear’s talent is discovered and he is encouraged to travel away from the forest to perform for audiences far and wide – well you would be intrigued to see a bear playing the piano, wouldn’t you?! I won’t say any more about the plot of the book, you will have to read it for yourself.
The book explores the bear’s journey from cub who finds a noisy object he doesn’t understand to virtuoso pianist, and how he feels about that journey. To my mind, it is a great book to explain why it is important for children to practise their chosen musical instrument, no matter how plinky plonky, or awful it sounds when they first start out. By practising every day, like the bear, they too could become a virtuoso performer and it could change their life.
Not only is this a lovely story that I have very much enjoyed reading with my children, but it is beautifully illustrated by the author/illustrator.
I love this book, and my children have loved it as well. I will be very sad when they don’t want me to read it to them any more!