The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield

A bear discovers an abandoned piano in the forest. He presses a few keys and makes some unpleasant noises. Day after day, he returns and keeps practicing until one day after quite some time, beautiful sounds resonate from the instrument. Bears from all over the forest come to hear him play transfixed by the music.

A father and son, who are having a picnic in the woodland, hear the piano being played. They tell him of the big city, they tell him he will be a big star and hear more incredible music. The bear leaves the forest in search of this other world. He becomes famous, people from all over the city come to watch him play in huge, grand theatres. But despite all of this, he longs for home, for his friends and family.

David Litchfield skilfully uses translucent light and shadows to create depth and realism to the landscapes and cityscapes. Each atmospheric setting is filled with a sense of mystic and beauty.

One of my favourite illustrated books of 2015 so far and it’s David’s debut picture book. Massive achievement!

Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

Here’s the Magpie David illustrated for me a while ago.

magpie 1

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