The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield

The Bear and the Piano

Written by David Litchfield

3+ readers   All Shortlists and Winners   Debuts of the Month   5+ readers   UKLA 2017   
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Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | Shortlisted for the Children's category of the Books are My Bag Readers Awards 2016 | Shortlisted for the English Picture Book Award 2016 | Longlisted for the inaugural Klaus Flugge Prize, an important new illustration prize for children's books | Winner of the Illustrated category of The Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2016.

March 2016 Debut of the Month A young bear cub finds a piano in the forest and after a first hesitant ‘PLONK’, he returns to it every day for years until he has grown strong, and the sounds that he makes on the piano are melodic and beautiful. The other bears love listening to him but one day a girl and her father overhear his concert and persuade him to go with them to the city and play in front of thousands. Swapping the tranquillity of the forest for the bright lights of Broadway brings the bear fame, but he misses his friends and decides to return to play again for the most important audience of all. It’s a beautiful story, and illustrates perfectly the effect of music on performer and audience. Litchfield’s illustrations are very special indeed: he plays beautifully with light and shade, in both the forest and concert hall scenes, to create atmosphere and to illuminate his hero and his message. ~ Andrea Reece


The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield

One day, a young bear stumbles upon something he has never seen before in the forest. As time passes, he teaches himself how to play the strange instrument, and eventually the beautiful sounds are heard by a father and son who are picnicking in the woods. The bear goes with them on an incredible journey to New York, where his piano playing makes him a huge star. He has fame, fortune and all the music in the world, but he misses the friends and family he has left behind.

A moving tale of exploration and belonging from an exciting debut author-illustrator.


'A beautiful story about enduring friendship, accompanied by big, dramatic illustrations.' Saffia Farr Juno

'Positively gushing with Litchfield's exceptional use of light and texture and provides an overwhelming sense of atmosphere... Litchfield's distinctive style and rich illustrations provide the perfect accompaniment to this tale of tenacity, exploration and belonging. We can't wait to see how he follows what is destined to be a most successful debut.' Picture Book Blogger

'One of the most impressive debuts of the autumn, this is a really stunning picture book with both critical and commercial appeal. A bear stumbles upon a piano in the forest which takes him on the most incredible of journeys.' Selected as a Highlight of the Season in the Children's Autumn Buyer's Guide. The Bookseller

‘One of the most distinctive and original book debuts of the autumn.’ The Bookseller: Selected for the Children'?s Special Picture Book category

‘…His vivid, atmospheric scenes of forest and city are imagined on a vast scale, but there is an accessible warmth and humanity to them.'? - Editor’s Picture Book choice, selected as a Highlight of the Season in the Children'?s Autumn Buyer'?s Guide.

‘We love the distinctive art style and the charming concept! Within the book, lessons about exploration and belonging are learned.’ Selected by The Reading Room for Top 10 Children'?s Books to Get Excited About for Children'?s Book Week

About the Author

DAVID LITCHFIELD first started to draw when he was very young, creating Star Wars and Indiana Jones 'mash up' comics for his older brother and sister. Since then David's work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, books and on T-shirts. He has also exhibited his illustrations in both solo and group shows in the U.K, Europe and America. The Bear and the Piano is his first picture book. David lives in Bedford with his family.

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Book Info


40 pages


David Litchfield
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Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

Publication date

3rd February 2016




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