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Publisher's Summary

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....
©2013 Michael Morpurgo (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
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Critic Reviews

"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 01-07-17

I will openly admit, it pissed me off

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I have never written a audio book review before, but had to here. The story is running along nicely and then, smack upside the head. The ending, well let's say if I were to ever meet the writer, I will just slap him upside his head for such.

Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Morpurgo again?


What aspect of Sir Ian McKellen’s performance would you have changed?

Easily, the ending, as it ruined a great story.

What character would you cut from Dancing Bear?


Any additional comments?

Someone explain to the writer, a child's book where many said this belongs, needs uplifting story endings. Not one where the poor child will be left in tears. The world itself has enough sad things for a child to already deal with.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ralph W Cudworth on 05-01-18

Have Tissues Handy

Brilliant read by Ian. This short story will enthrall you and take you to a special place. The tale leaves us with a powerful message, as it is also an allegory of life. Never lose sight of your inner child. Never forget your roots. One added thought.....animals understand a lot more than we think they do!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Richard on 11-18-17

Nearly ruined by invasive music

Ian McKellen’s voice is just perfect for this story - in fact, it’s perfect for any story as far as I’m concerned! The story is sweet and moving, but unfortunately the whole experience is very nearly ruined by the awful, unnecessary and invasive music. It comes up multiple times and adds absolutely nothing; if anything, it took me out of the story and had me gritting my teeth with frustration. If you’ve got Ian McKellen to do your reading, why stick this din over the top? It’s not like he needs any help... such a shame, as this could so easily have been perfect.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Rosie on 01-20-17

Memories of my childhood!

Have you listened to any of Sir Ian McKellen’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I'm not sure if he has done any other audiobook readings, but this reading is beautiful. It's quite a simple story but his reading elevates it to make it even more meaningful and beautiful.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, this book made me cry the first time I listened to it, years ago, when I was a little girl. Ian McKellen's gorgeous reading combined with the lovely music make it a very emotional listen.

Any additional comments?

It's a short book, so if you're looking for a longer listen then maybe it's not the best use of an audible credit. I bought it with my own money as opposed to a credit.

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