I am very excited to review David Litchfield’s debute The Bear and the Piano! It is even more beautiful than I had hoped!
The story captures the life of a very talented bear who plays his way to fame … Can you guess his talent? Well he’s a piano player obviously! He moves to the big city, plays for audiences made up of hundreds, sees his name in shining lights, but feels something is missing. Little does he know that his friends in the forest miss him just as much as he misses them.
This is such a heart-warming story, you cannot help but smile. It demonstrates passion, success and friendship in a way which is creative and shows pride. Words are used sparingly with simple sentences, speech were necessary and just the perfect amount of description to compliment the illustrations.
Litchfield’s images are multi-dimensional and textured, they show a huge amount of depth and provide a stunning contrast between the wild and the city. I love the use of light and colour to exhibit moods and atmosphere, and the density of the forest when you first open the book.
The passing of time is represented brilliantly through the nature of the trees, the changing of the seasons and the growing of the bear himself. Time, as a child, I always found seemed to last forever, then as you grow older it flies by. Litchfield’s depiction is a great visual for young children to understand the process and effects of time.
No short cuts have been taken in the creation of this book, every page is a surprise and just as detailed as the last. I am looking forward to seeing what is next!
Check out Litchfield’s portfolio of illustrations: