The Dancing Bear

The Dancing Bear

Paperback

By (author) Michael Morpurgo, Illustrated by Christian Birmingham

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Format: Paperback | 64 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 190mm x 8mm | 41g
  • Publication date: 29 June 1994
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0006745113
  • ISBN 13: 9780006745112
  • Sales rank: 7,533

Product description

A gentle and deeply moving story of a young girl and her bear, told with great charm by a master storyteller. High in the mountains, in a tiny village, an abandoned bear cub is adopted by a lonely orphan child. Soon they are inseparable, beloved by the whole village - safe, until the arrival of a glamorous film crew who need a dancing bear...

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Author information

Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of Britain's best-loved writers for children. He has written over 100 books and won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Whitbread Award. His recent bestselling novels include 'Shadow', 'A Medal for Leroy' and 'Little Manfred'. His novel 'War Horse' has been successfully adapted as a West End and Broadway theatre play and a major film by Steven Spielberg. A former Children's Laureate, Michael is also the co-founder, with his wife Clare, of the charity Farms for City Children.

Review quote

It's rare to find a story that combines so successfully a contemporary plot and modern morality with a feel for legend and fairy tale. She Magazine

Editorial reviews

Readers of Morpurgo's Waiting for Anya (1990), which also featured an orphaned bear cub, may feel this novella is set in the same tiny, sheepherding village in the French Pyrenees. Roxanne, a sweet girl who sings like an angel, adopts a gentle abandoned cub that adores her. Years later, when a famous pop singer and his entourage arrive to make a music video based on "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," Roxanne is given a starring role; she is soon charmed away to a life of fame and fortune, leaving her beloved bear behind. The morning after her departure, the bear is found dead, upright in his cage as if staring after Roxanne. This is an affecting story, certainly, but the bear's sudden death is melodramatic, and Roxanne is such a sympathetic character that her sudden neglect of home ties is scarcely credible. However, the Pied Piper theme is thoroughly developed, and the misty black-and-white drawings echo the pervasive melancholy of the text. (Kirkus Reviews)