Hot Best Seller

The Dancing Bear

Availability: Ready to download

A gentle and deeply moving story of a young girl and her bear, told with great charm by the nation’s favourite storyteller, Michael Morpugo. 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…


Compare

A gentle and deeply moving story of a young girl and her bear, told with great charm by the nation’s favourite storyteller, Michael Morpugo. 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…

30 review for The Dancing Bear

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    I fancied something light to read last night, and as I love animals, I decided to select a paperback from one of my two Michael Morpurgo box sets. This was a touching and emotional story about a little girl who rescues a malnourished bear cub and brings it into her village, where it becomes a large part of their close-knit community. At times this story was a fun read, but it turned out not to be quite as light-hearted as I had hoped, resulting in tears and me feeling a little heart broken at on I fancied something light to read last night, and as I love animals, I decided to select a paperback from one of my two Michael Morpurgo box sets. This was a touching and emotional story about a little girl who rescues a malnourished bear cub and brings it into her village, where it becomes a large part of their close-knit community. At times this story was a fun read, but it turned out not to be quite as light-hearted as I had hoped, resulting in tears and me feeling a little heart broken at one stage.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Jones

    This is my first Michael Morpurgo book and to be honest I only listened to this one because it was narrated by Ian McKellen. The narration was really relaxing to listen to though the story itself was quite sombre. My main issue with this book is the ending. I feel that the author wanted to make it sad so made something happen really abruptly but I felt that it didn't have the emotional impact that it should have had. I think that Morpurgo is an interesting author and I will be checking out more of This is my first Michael Morpurgo book and to be honest I only listened to this one because it was narrated by Ian McKellen. The narration was really relaxing to listen to though the story itself was quite sombre. My main issue with this book is the ending. I feel that the author wanted to make it sad so made something happen really abruptly but I felt that it didn't have the emotional impact that it should have had. I think that Morpurgo is an interesting author and I will be checking out more of his work in the future but I found that this fell a little flat. For a start, there wasn't really much of the bear in the story! Overall I liked the narration and the concept was a good one but I don't think that this translates well to an adult reader. Children would enjoy it I think but it wasn't for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sammy

    You know what, it maybe a tiny children’s book, but it isn’t half beautiful! Only took 20 minutes to read but it was just really nice! Michael Morpurgo does it again! I’d recommend and give it a 4.5/5 👍

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie Jo

    ‘The Dancing Bear’ is a short story about an elderly teacher, who watches a young girl adopt a bear cub into her family and build a beautiful friendship with it as they grow up together. Roxanne, the young girl, fights to keep her bear living in their country town as he grows larger. As she ages into a woman, Roxanne visits her bear less and less, he becomes desolate and less responsive in her absence. A film crew then arrives, wishing to use the town and the bear in their music video. The quiet ‘The Dancing Bear’ is a short story about an elderly teacher, who watches a young girl adopt a bear cub into her family and build a beautiful friendship with it as they grow up together. Roxanne, the young girl, fights to keep her bear living in their country town as he grows larger. As she ages into a woman, Roxanne visits her bear less and less, he becomes desolate and less responsive in her absence. A film crew then arrives, wishing to use the town and the bear in their music video. The quiet, country town is suddenly turned into a set, the people into extras and Roxanne has to decide whether she will leave to pursue her talents or stay with her friends and family. Whilst a beautiful story, ‘The Dancing Bear’ has no real climax and lacks the excitement needed to entrance a group of children into listening through the entire story, which is why I would not use it as a class reading book at the end of the day. However, the story does contain some wonderful descriptions and imagery, making it appropriate as an example in a year three or four Literacy class. It also contains some opportunities to discuss how the characters are feeling, such as Roxanne as she leaves her home or her bear as he is contained in the cage for the safety of others, I would use this in a year two or three class. This story may also appeal to year five or six girls during independent reading. As an adult, I rather enjoyed the simple, gentle story but I do wonder if a group of young children would appreciate it, despite the lack of excitement.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Monowara

    I read this book with my year 5 class in SEB, and before I read it I was told it was a great read. I gave this book only 3 stars as it started off as a great read but was disappointed with the ending of the story, however, the children I read it with enjoyed the book. This book is about a little girl who finds a small bear cub and convinces the whole town and her grandad to let her keep it. A famous film crew comes into town and decides to use the bear in one of their songs. The book is great fo I read this book with my year 5 class in SEB, and before I read it I was told it was a great read. I gave this book only 3 stars as it started off as a great read but was disappointed with the ending of the story, however, the children I read it with enjoyed the book. This book is about a little girl who finds a small bear cub and convinces the whole town and her grandad to let her keep it. A famous film crew comes into town and decides to use the bear in one of their songs. The book is great for children as it enhances their vocabulary to a great extent, and I used this book to do most of the vocabulary lessons.

  6. 5 out of 5

    J.C.

    A short book (only 60 pages), concise and exquisite. Superbly written by this first-rate author. Children probably know what to expect from the brilliant Michael Morpurgo in terms of challenging material (in other words, sad or difficult parts to the story) so perhaps avoid very young children for this one. One another thing that might work against it for young children is that the narrator is a near-retired schoolmaster. Older children would love this clean, precise account of an orphan girl an A short book (only 60 pages), concise and exquisite. Superbly written by this first-rate author. Children probably know what to expect from the brilliant Michael Morpurgo in terms of challenging material (in other words, sad or difficult parts to the story) so perhaps avoid very young children for this one. One another thing that might work against it for young children is that the narrator is a near-retired schoolmaster. Older children would love this clean, precise account of an orphan girl and a bear in a mountain village. The illustrations (black and white drawings by Christian Birmingham) are breathtaking. This book has been on my children’s book shelves since the mid-nineties and I have read it at least twice since then for my own pleasure, savouring every aspect of the taut, masterly narration and the subtlety of the illustrations. Five stars and five stars again.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Liv 소정

    This was actually the first book I ever read of Michael Morpurgo's and honestly it is so sad. I don't know how I can remember the plot because it was like 6 years ago when I first read this but I remember it being so sad and I think I loved the bear because obviously its a bear and bears are so cute. I think it is horrible that some bears are in captivity and are being forced to dance. In my opinion I think that animals should have rights too, so this made me think more about what people are doi This was actually the first book I ever read of Michael Morpurgo's and honestly it is so sad. I don't know how I can remember the plot because it was like 6 years ago when I first read this but I remember it being so sad and I think I loved the bear because obviously its a bear and bears are so cute. I think it is horrible that some bears are in captivity and are being forced to dance. In my opinion I think that animals should have rights too, so this made me think more about what people are doing today. I recommend because it is so heartwarming and I enjoyed it. I didn't give it a full 5* because I don't remember a lot of it. I just remember liking it and it upsetting me that people were cruel to animals. I will have to read again sometime...

  8. 5 out of 5

    DivaDiane

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a very brief novella, which was really lovely, until the end, when it got very sad. I read it aloud to my son. He was quite devastated at the end, when Roxanne gave in to temptation, Bruno, the bear died of a broken heart and Roxanne forsook Bruno and everyone in the village. He said tearfully, “but stories are supposed to have happy endings!” I explained to him that not all stories have happy endings. Life isn’t like that. But the story doesn’t really end there, anyway. Life always goes This is a very brief novella, which was really lovely, until the end, when it got very sad. I read it aloud to my son. He was quite devastated at the end, when Roxanne gave in to temptation, Bruno, the bear died of a broken heart and Roxanne forsook Bruno and everyone in the village. He said tearfully, “but stories are supposed to have happy endings!” I explained to him that not all stories have happy endings. Life isn’t like that. But the story doesn’t really end there, anyway. Life always goes on.

  9. 4 out of 5

    TOTES AMAZE Pro Reader 123 not me by the way

    A very touching and gentle story with beautiful words from Michael morpurgo. Loved it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Megan Wiffen

    The Dancing Bear is a moving story set in an old fashioned village in the mountains; it follows a young orphan girl, Roxanne. One day Roxanne finds a bear, she names him Bruno and with support from some of the fellow villagers she keeps him. They become best friends and their relationship becomes special and enchanting. When word spreads of Bruno, a film crew arrive to make a music video for a famous rock singer, Niki. Niki talks Roxanne into getting Bruno to dance for his video and Bruno does. The Dancing Bear is a moving story set in an old fashioned village in the mountains; it follows a young orphan girl, Roxanne. One day Roxanne finds a bear, she names him Bruno and with support from some of the fellow villagers she keeps him. They become best friends and their relationship becomes special and enchanting. When word spreads of Bruno, a film crew arrive to make a music video for a famous rock singer, Niki. Niki talks Roxanne into getting Bruno to dance for his video and Bruno does. Roxanne is heard singing to the bear one evening and Niki asks her to leave the village and Bruno to be a famous singer. She leaves her beloved bear and he sadly dies. This book is wonderful to read as it’s written from someone else’s point of view looking on at Roxanne and Bruno’s relationship. It would be great to read with a Key Stage 2 class, the story is short, captivating and has a grown up edge with serious subject matters. It is easy to read and has beautiful charcoal illustrations which capture the story wonderfully. There are many classroom exercises you could do with this book. The class could write a story with a different ending if Roxanne stayed with the bear, what would have happened? They could act out the book and play different characters showing the different emotions from each character. They could also write a diary from one of the characters point of view and how they felt about the bear being in their village. This book is charming and full of emotion; I would highly recommend giving this book a read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aszerina

    The Dancing Bear by Michael Morpurgo, tells the delicate story of an orphan called Roxanne who adopts an abandoned bear cub. The story is told from the perspective of Roxanne’s school teacher. The book is set in an isolated, mountainous village. The whole village allows Roxanne to adopt the bear, as they hope it will bring a financial profit to the village in the future. This hope is fulfilled when a TV crew come to the village, looking for a dancing bear to be in their new music video. But the The Dancing Bear by Michael Morpurgo, tells the delicate story of an orphan called Roxanne who adopts an abandoned bear cub. The story is told from the perspective of Roxanne’s school teacher. The book is set in an isolated, mountainous village. The whole village allows Roxanne to adopt the bear, as they hope it will bring a financial profit to the village in the future. This hope is fulfilled when a TV crew come to the village, looking for a dancing bear to be in their new music video. But the video ends up featuring the bear and Roxanne. She is offered a chance of fame and luxury and leaves her sheltered life behind and her precious bear. The bear dies from heart break the next morning and the book ends. It was such a tantalizing and unique story. But I rather disliked the ending. I felt quite sad at how quickly the bear died and that the girl never came back for him. However, despite the ending I would recommend this book for KS2 readers. This book could be used in Literacy to explore other countries and ways of living outside of London (which should really engage the EAL students). It could also be used in PSHE to explore animal cruelty. It is a nice short book and shouldn’t take that long for a class to go through.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Conorfinnerty

    This short story, perfectly complemented by Christian Birmingham's beautiful illustrations, is one that every child should read. The little village, tucked away in the mountains, is old-fashioned, cut off from the outside world and everyone is untainted by the modern way of life. "We are a world of our own and we like it that way." The arrival of Niki the world-famous singer and his film crew, contrast oddly with the peaceful, slow-moving world of the village people. Bruno is strong and lovable, This short story, perfectly complemented by Christian Birmingham's beautiful illustrations, is one that every child should read. The little village, tucked away in the mountains, is old-fashioned, cut off from the outside world and everyone is untainted by the modern way of life. "We are a world of our own and we like it that way." The arrival of Niki the world-famous singer and his film crew, contrast oddly with the peaceful, slow-moving world of the village people. Bruno is strong and lovable, and Roxanne a beautiful, gentle girl, who is inseparable from her beloved bear. All the characters have clear-cut personalities - the grandfather crusty and bitter, Tiny cheerful and comical, the narrator a solitary old man, "content with my own company and my music." The illustrations are wonderful - they capture the whole spirit of the mountains, the old-fashioned village, and Roxanne and the bear's happiness. I would recommend this story to anyone, children and adults alike, and also to read any of Michael Morpurgo's other books. "What the eye doesn't see the heart doesn't long for" but in this case I think it would be an offence not to "see" this!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katy Kelly

    A short story from Morpurgo, but complete in its plot and character development. An orphaned bear is adopted by a girl in a mountain village, despite her father's protestations. The bear brings about prosperity and tourism to the people, and when a music video crew later visit to film a famous singer's latest pop video, life will change yet again. Morpurgo doesn't ever seem to produce a dud. Despite its length, this is still engrossing. An old man of the village narrates the story, watching Roxan A short story from Morpurgo, but complete in its plot and character development. An orphaned bear is adopted by a girl in a mountain village, despite her father's protestations. The bear brings about prosperity and tourism to the people, and when a music video crew later visit to film a famous singer's latest pop video, life will change yet again. Morpurgo doesn't ever seem to produce a dud. Despite its length, this is still engrossing. An old man of the village narrates the story, watching Roxanne and Bruno the bear through old, experienced eyes. How will pop star Nicky affect them all? It's sad. As are all Morpurgo's books at times, but this is intended for younger, beginning readers, so quite a brave move to write the tale this way. It certainly covers points about stardom, contemporary aspirations and friendship with as much depth as books ten times its length. I listened to the audio version, and can recommend the reader as well as the book. He speaks clearly and gently, the voice of the narrator bringing him to life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jude

    this is a beautiful story, about a village girl who finds a bear cub in the forest, when she brings it back to her grandfather who is talking to the village men she asks if she my keep it. Her grandfather refuses at first but when one of the villagers says that the bear could attract tourists and make money, Roxannes grandfather lets her keep it. When a film crew, come to town, looking for a dancing bear. the bear can dance, but when the director meets Roxanne he asks her if she would like to act this is a beautiful story, about a village girl who finds a bear cub in the forest, when she brings it back to her grandfather who is talking to the village men she asks if she my keep it. Her grandfather refuses at first but when one of the villagers says that the bear could attract tourists and make money, Roxannes grandfather lets her keep it. When a film crew, come to town, looking for a dancing bear. the bear can dance, but when the director meets Roxanne he asks her if she would like to act and sing with him. Roxanne decides to go, so she gets a trusted villager to look after the bear she leaves WARNING SPOILER ALERT watching Roxanne go the villager go,s into the bears cage , He then realises that the bear is dead. beautifully written this a must read book

  15. 5 out of 5

    Farhana Imran

    This book is narrated through the eyes of the villages local teacher. He explains how a small bear came down from the mountains and changed things forever. It's about a lonely girl called Roxanne who befriends this bear and their close bond. It's about an old man who only cares for money ( Roxanne's grandfather) and how he manipulates his grand daughter to use the bear for monetary gain. It's about a film company which is looking for bear to star in it's new music video. Michael Morpurgo has a talen This book is narrated through the eyes of the villages local teacher. He explains how a small bear came down from the mountains and changed things forever. It's about a lonely girl called Roxanne who befriends this bear and their close bond. It's about an old man who only cares for money ( Roxanne's grandfather) and how he manipulates his grand daughter to use the bear for monetary gain. It's about a film company which is looking for bear to star in it's new music video. Michael Morpurgo has a talent for making his animals come to life, he makes us wish we too could have a bear as our friend. A must read for animal lovers.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dom Conlon

    I heard (rather than read) this story and came to it as a blank slate, not knowing anything about it or what to expect. And my goodness, I'm so very glad I did. The gentle tone unfolds in the most beautiful detail to reveal how the lives of a group of villagers are affected by the adoption of a bear cub. Every character is sensitively and lovingly written to create one of the most special stories I've read in a long while. Morpurgo is a master storyteller. I heard (rather than read) this story and came to it as a blank slate, not knowing anything about it or what to expect. And my goodness, I'm so very glad I did. The gentle tone unfolds in the most beautiful detail to reveal how the lives of a group of villagers are affected by the adoption of a bear cub. Every character is sensitively and lovingly written to create one of the most special stories I've read in a long while. Morpurgo is a master storyteller.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aruna Kumar Gadepalli

    Story of a girl who raises a bear and what turn it takes the relationship when the outside out world interferes, well written for the young readers.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maisie Dappletrot

    Quite sad and nothing much happens, so a bit boring, not really worth reading.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Saarah Niña

    Always beautiful You can never successfully read a Michael Morpurgo book and put it down without feeling so moved. His books always touch you deeply, the storytelling, his talent in painting a landscape that has you feeling wonder and then, the story's ending... Oh my. I was as shaken with this one as with those I've read before. I kept thinking, oh what fun it would be to read this book to a child. But that ending killed that thought. I probably would still read it to a child, perhaps after th Always beautiful You can never successfully read a Michael Morpurgo book and put it down without feeling so moved. His books always touch you deeply, the storytelling, his talent in painting a landscape that has you feeling wonder and then, the story's ending... Oh my. I was as shaken with this one as with those I've read before. I kept thinking, oh what fun it would be to read this book to a child. But that ending killed that thought. I probably would still read it to a child, perhaps after the tragic loss of a family pet. Just whenever they're feeling quite sad anyway. You can never forget the tale of the Dancing Bear. Really beautiful and bittersweet.

  20. 5 out of 5

    yaybooks

    It was an interesting story, but the ending didn't really fit, if you get what I mean? It didn't make sense and it completely contradicted whatever we learnt about the characters in the first half of the book. (view spoiler)[If Roxanne was shown to be so loving and caring for the bear, why'd did she never see the letter? I get that people change with fame and success, but the author wrote Roxanne to be a sincere person, and it didn't make sense that she completely forgot about the bear. (hide sp It was an interesting story, but the ending didn't really fit, if you get what I mean? It didn't make sense and it completely contradicted whatever we learnt about the characters in the first half of the book. (view spoiler)[If Roxanne was shown to be so loving and caring for the bear, why'd did she never see the letter? I get that people change with fame and success, but the author wrote Roxanne to be a sincere person, and it didn't make sense that she completely forgot about the bear. (hide spoiler)] The ending was *too* sad- which never works because it's too extreme to take seriously. The author should have left it on bittersweet. Alas ;(

  21. 4 out of 5

    Daisy Daisy

    So this was the group reading book chosen for our class at school. We have gotten about 1/2 way through and the children are making predictions that there will be a happy ending! Having read ahead I'm going to go into school tomorrow and hide all the copies of this book until the end of term because I don't want to disillusion them. (view spoiler)[Deducting stars because Roxanne made out she was all nice and caring then traded it all in for a glittering career and broke a bears heart. :( (hide sp So this was the group reading book chosen for our class at school. We have gotten about 1/2 way through and the children are making predictions that there will be a happy ending! Having read ahead I'm going to go into school tomorrow and hide all the copies of this book until the end of term because I don't want to disillusion them. (view spoiler)[Deducting stars because Roxanne made out she was all nice and caring then traded it all in for a glittering career and broke a bears heart. :( (hide spoiler)]

  22. 4 out of 5

    Helen Sendall

    My then 10 year old daughter and I read this book in one evening, as it is very short - much shorter than most of Morpurgo's stories. We were quite enjoying it until the last two pages, when it ended very suddenly and made my daughter very upset. It seemed like the author had tired with that story and ended it abruptly. Very unsatisfying and unnecessarily sad. My then 10 year old daughter and I read this book in one evening, as it is very short - much shorter than most of Morpurgo's stories. We were quite enjoying it until the last two pages, when it ended very suddenly and made my daughter very upset. It seemed like the author had tired with that story and ended it abruptly. Very unsatisfying and unnecessarily sad.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Zigler

    My actual rating is 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. It would have been a five star read for me, but the ending felt kind of sudden and lacking in emotion. Up until that point I thought it was an excellent and beautiful read, but the ending was a disappointment, which took away a lot of my enjoyment of the rest of the story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stuey Mac

    I normally love Michael Morpurgo’s stories but I just have no idea where this was leading. An odd tale for sure, with a particularly unsatisfying ending. I guess when you write over a hundred books though you’re not going to like them all! 😊

  25. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Smith

    It's a very short story, enjoyable to read. It does make you ask questions, about what's important in life and whether you should grab opportunities offered to you or not. I'd recommend it as a short story to read in a day or so. It's a very short story, enjoyable to read. It does make you ask questions, about what's important in life and whether you should grab opportunities offered to you or not. I'd recommend it as a short story to read in a day or so.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Natasja | natasjalovesbooks

    Sad to say that this is the worst Morpugo I've read yet, mainly due to the ending, which was very abrupt. I listened to it on audiobook as narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, which was lovely and relaxing, but overall, I wasn't very impressed. Sad to say that this is the worst Morpugo I've read yet, mainly due to the ending, which was very abrupt. I listened to it on audiobook as narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, which was lovely and relaxing, but overall, I wasn't very impressed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor Sturdy

    Very good, traditional tale with a twist. Morpurgo writes so well, and easy for reading aloud too. This story is both old and new with eternal themes that will keep your attention. Touching and poignant.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lakshmi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A resonant story about a lonely girl who adopts an abandoned bear cub. When a rock star and his film crew arrive to shoot a music video, the whole town is caught up in the excitement and Roxanne leaves behind her beloved bear forever.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Daisy May

    I was incredibly disappointed by the ending of this book. I get that some stories can’t end happily but it could have been better written. I found it very abrupt. It could have been really good. I usually enjoy reading Morpurgo but I wouldn’t recommend this one.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sammy

    An engaging enough story, with an ending I didn't expect, especially for what seemed to be a feel-good kids book. I did very much enjoy the narrative voice though, and may have to investigate a couple of the other Morpurgo books we have floating about the house from when my son was younger... An engaging enough story, with an ending I didn't expect, especially for what seemed to be a feel-good kids book. I did very much enjoy the narrative voice though, and may have to investigate a couple of the other Morpurgo books we have floating about the house from when my son was younger...

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.