The Clarity of Litchfield’s New Children’s Book

Posted by: on Jun 30, 2016 | No Comments


David Litchfield is the illustrator and author of the new children’s story The Bear and The Piano in where he uses both traditional techniques alongside digital media to capture the musical journey of a bear.

Based on the White Stripes’ song “Little Room,” it’s about a bear who one day finds a piano glimmering in the daylight in the forest. Throughout the seasons and the years, he discovers how to make the piano sound beautiful. Besides the great lesson for the children and the excellent usage of traditional techniques, another pleasure of the story is Litchfield’s artistic idiosyncrasies, which, I believe, naturally aims for clarity.

The usage of the panels in the story does several things. It moves the story easily and clearly while creating intensity. Here’s an example from the story.


At this juncture of the story, when he first learns how to make music, the panels display the bear’s delight in the piano. Litchfield renders close-ups of the bear’s face, hands, which show his love for the piano, and how it resonates in the forest. In contrast to the panels, there’s a variety of emotions and concepts like the story itself.

On this page we can appreciate the usage of the full page. The bear is trying decide whether or not he should move to the city where he could play for a large audience. The bear stands in the middle of the page pondering his decision. The bears on the left are worried about his well being on one side while the human looks deceptively on the other side. In addition, we feel the pressure of being the bear as he stands underneath them. This contrast is a good example of the bear’s indecision.

The pleasure of Litchfield’s story is the clarity mixed with variety. Children will immediately be tantalized by the illustration, and feel closer to the bear in the story. Litchfield currently lives in Britain. 


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