Tag Archives: David Litchfield

The Bear, the Piano, the Dog and the Fiddle

You remember the piano-playing Bear? The Bear who couldn’t help but play the piano, and who became incredibly famous and successful?

He’s still big – he’s a bear, after all – and possibly taking so much of the attention that other musicians hang up their instruments. It’s what happens to Hector, a fiddle player, who’s never seen without his friend, Hugo the Dog. They go home, and Hector not only doesn’t play any more, but mopes. And sleeps. And with Hector’s back turned, Hugo starts taking an interest in the abandoned fiddle.

Hugo might be just a Dog, but he can play. And then he’s recruited by Bear, to join Bear’s Big Band.

As in many friendships, words are said, and Hector and Hugo part.

But because this is a children’s picture book, it’s not hard to work out what must happen. Tears everywhere.

David Litchfield, The Bear, the Piano, the Dog and the Fiddle

The illustrations in David Litchfield’s book are so gorgeous and so grown-up – by which I mean they appeal to adults – that you just have to love this book. For me it’s another instance of wanting to tear the pictures from the book and frame them.

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The Bear and the Piano

The idea that given enough monkeys and typewriters you will end up with Shakespeare works for bears and pianos found in the woods, too.

In David Litchfield’s beautiful picture book The Bear and the Piano we meet a bear cub who encounters a piano in the woods one day. He has no idea what it is, but plonks a bit.

David Litchfield, The Bear and the Piano

He keeps returning to the piano, plinking and plonking, and suddenly one day he finds he can play beautiful music, which makes him very happy. The other bears come and listen, and before long he’s discovered by the humans and carted off to perform in packed concert halls.

The bear enjoys his new life, but starts to miss the woods and his friends. The question is, can you go back? Will they remember you?

This is a nice little story, with gorgeous illustrations.