The Dancing Bear
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The Dancing Bear

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  492 ratings  ·  48 reviews
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…
ebook, 64 pages
Published June 3rd 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1994)
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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...more
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...more
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,...more
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...more
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....more
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...more
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...more
Samantha Bond
This is the fourth Morpurgo book I've read and I enjoyed it except for the very sudden and sad ending. I felt like the ending was not even rushed - more just like chopped off.
The characters are lovely, even for such a short story, and the plot is interesting enough but with that ending... is Morpurgo trying to convey some sort of message? It seems that the final actions of the sweet main character, the choice she chooses for herself for a change, result in something bad. Is it maybe something to...more
Naomi

This is a lovely story about a little orphan girl, Roxanne, who discovered a bear in her village up the mountain, names him Bruno, and begs her grandfather to keep him. They do so and Roxanne and Bruno become the best of friends, never leaving each other’s side. The grandfather is able to make money out of the bear, by branding his products and drawing in visitors to see the bear. They then are invaded by a film crew who want the bear to dance for them in the video, as well as using the villager...more
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.
Andy Turner
This is a short story about a small and fairly isolated village in the mountains and how it gained a pet bear and about the big wide world of fame and fortune that comes to visit and offers a new life of fame and fortune to a child of the village. Central to the story is the character of a good teacher. It's heart warming and hopeful despite having the characteristic not so happy parts that most Morpurgo stories have.
Hwee Goh
3.9. This was one of the few Morpurgos we don't own, and that's why we picked this copy up at the library. A quick, readable story for ages 8-9 and up because of its more mature theme. My 9-year-old was stunned by the ending, which I attribute to another Morpurgo triumph where the child has been drawn in successfully into the story to care. Very much.
Den
This story is set in a small French village and it is all about Roxanne - a young orphan girl - and the bear she finds abandoned in the woods. It is the tale of how she cares for it and how the whole village see him as a friend. But this all changes when a film company arrive with a world famous pop star wanting to shoot his pop video with a dancing bear. But Bruno the bear won't perform for anyone but Roxanne and so it seems like all is lost until the crew hear her voice and realise she can be...more
Emily
I thought this book was thought provoking. When a film crew and a popstar arrive at young women Roxanne's town, Roxanne who owns a bear, Nicky, the popstar, wants to hire the bear to be in his latest music video. The video is based on the story of the Pied Piper, and Nicky picked Roxanne to be the 'princess' type character. Eventually, Roxanne and Nicky leave the village together, along with the film crew, and the question throughout the whole story, for me, was, Would you leave behind something...more
Elijah Litfton
Well I have read this at school and this is a book more for girls because it does not have a lot of action. I like the end where Bruno the bear dies!
Zoe Maynard
it was a really good book but I didn't like the ending
Tanja
I will definitely add this title to my list of favorite Michael Morpurgo books - a short but beautifully crafted story that brought tears into my eyes. As in many of his books, at the center of the story is the unusual relationship between a human (here: a girl) and an animal (here: a bear) that will make the reader think and ponder long after the book has been read. I am almost certain that this slim book will become a hit with our upper elementary students.
Matt
Just utterly pointless reading this. The plot is just uninteresting and boring. Hardly anything happens at all kids deserve soooooo much better than this crap
Unity
Despite this book being just a free gift in the national geographic for kids, each page egged me to read more. Less than 100 pages expressed desperation, love, history, culture and brought tears to my eyes - just as a good book should. I would have loved this book to be longer, however I believe it was the perfect length for Morpurgo to get his point across, when aiming this book at an audience that is known to have a short attention span. Brilliant!
Susan
This was sweet and sad story, as well writeen as all of Michael Morpurgo's books. My three star rating is nothing to do with the quality of the book but simply my relationship with it. Whereas a lot of Morpurgo's novel really cross the age divide and are of equal interest to adults and children this was clearly was a younger child's novel. As a book for a child in that age group it would have been given a 5 star rating.
Rhonda
This is the story of a young village girl Roxanne who befriends a young bear cub that she finds alone in the forest. She is an orphan and lives with her grandfather who does not want to let her keep the bear. That is until he realises he can make money from tourists who want to see the bear. One day the village is chosen as a location by a film crew and everyone's life is changed by this event especially Roxanne's.
Anna
Part of a collection of 3 Morpugo stories that are great for girls - all quite mature but often given to lower school children. (Butterfly Lion and Dear Olly) Parallel story of Olly and a bird migrating - I think this book needs an adult guiding a young reader. More sophisticated than it seems but the simplest narrative of these 3 stories.
Emily
it is a quick read but very good and also sad. One girl who learns how to read a bears action and they become good friends. I think it is a bit like Heidi because the girl lives with her unlce who doesn't really understand her.
I think this book is for anyone even the ones who don't really read, it is easy to understand. A simple storyline.
Tari_Roo
A peculiar and sad little tale that left me feeling quite despondent. An interesting story nonetheless. These type of stories make me wonder at the intention behind telling them, aside from the impulse to share sad stories. We all get something different out of stories and I wonder what the author wanted us to get out of it
Sarah
I read this in my last weeks at my junior school and we were all giving a copy to read ourselves as our teacher couldn't read it out as she was too emotional. When we read it you could gradually she everyone begin to well up even people who you would not expect to showing what a beautiful story this is.
Ekraaj Phull
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hobbit
this book was a quick read. As part of my teacher training course we were asked to read it.
I felt a little sad at the end and angry at the same time. it's a book about frienship but also about how life can take you in different directions and affect your friendships.
Mia
Jul 01, 2013 Mia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Such a beautiful story of devotion and heartbreak. Being such a short story, I thought it would be an easy and quick read, but I have read it now so many times and it stays as perfectly heart-wrenching.

It is written very simply but the end made me cry and cry.
Anthony Burt
For very young readers, this short little story about a girl who befriends a wild bear cub is beautifully and poignantly written by Mr Morpurgo. Even for such a short story the ending hit me hard. Brilliant little read if you have 6/7/8-year olds. Wonderful.
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Michael Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching and started to...more
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