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The Bear and the Piano

Last updated Sunday, March 3, 2019

Author: David Litchfield
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 0544674545
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2019

Synopsis: 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, delighting his woodland friends. Then the bear is invited to share his sounds with new friends in the city. He longs to explore the world beyond his home, and to play bigger and better than before. But he knows that if he leaves, the other bears will be very sad . . . This gorgeously illustrated tale of following one’s dreams reminds us of the value of friendship, wherever we go.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What's your favorite animal?
•  Do you play an instrument?
•  What's your favorite type of music?


•  ovation - enthusiastic, prolonged applause
•  platinum - wildly successful
•  afar - from a distance

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What city does this look like?
•  Why did the bear leave the forest?
•  Were the bear's friends sad or happy?
•  How do you react when your friends succeed? Are you happy for them?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a scene of your ideal concert. Include bears or other animals playing instruments, dancing, or singing.
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  Discuss what type of different instruments animals would play. Sing and act like different types of animals playing instruments.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!