The Bear and the Piano
by David Litchfield
The Bear and the Piano is one of those books that stays with you a long time after you have finished reading it. A young bear cub finds a piano in the middle of the woods. Day after day, he returned to the piano to practice. “When the bear played, he felt so happy. The sounds took him far away from the forest, and he dreamed of strange and wonderful lands.” For a while, the bear was happy, and the other bears liked to hear him play. Then the humans came, and told him about the city. So he went with them, to explore the world and what it had to offer. Soon, the bear was wearing a tuxedo. He played in sold out theaters and his name was plastered on every billboard.
“But deep down, something tugged at the bear’s heart. He had fame and awards and all the music in the world, but he missed the forest. He missed his old friends. He missed his home.”
So the bear hurries back to the forest. The clearing is empty, and there are no bears, and no piano. Then, his friends return, showing him where they kept the piano safe in the shade, under a tree covered in posters of the bear’s accomplishments.
He sat down once more at the little red piano in the middle of the woods and began to play. “This time, for the most important audience of all.”
Not only are Litchfield’s words magical, but the illustrations are ethereal as well.