The Bear and the Piano
Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015
From the dust jacket, “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, much to the delight of his woodland friends. Then the bear is invited to leave the forest and share his sounds with new friends in the city. He longs to explore the world beyond his home, to hear new things, and to play bigger and better than before. But he knows that if he leaves the other bears will be very sad…”
This beautifully illustrated picture book is a story of longing, achievement, and ultimately, the bonds of lasting friendship. The bear does indeed go into the city and becomes world famous for his piano playing ability but he also misses his friends. Is fame worth the loss of those you leave behind? Or can you have both? Young children will love reading about Bear’s adventures and it invites talks about how important it is to remain faithful to your friends even if you have to leave them behind to fulfill a dream.
Rating 4 out of 5 paws for its sensitive story and the lovely illustrations.