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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Michael divides his time between his writing and running Farms for City Children, a charity which each year takes up to 3,000 children to a working farm for a week. Michael and his wife Clare were awarded MBEs this year for their work with the charity. Before the first farm opened 22 years ago, Morpurgo was a teacher and his knowledge of children's experiences, plus his experience of farms enrich his writing enormously. Michael Morpurgo has won the Whitbread Children's Book Award, and the Smarties Book Prize.From Kirkus 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. (Fiction. 9-12) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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