book review competition parenting

The Dancing Bear by Michael Morpurgo {review and giveaway}

Did you know that World Animal Day was celebrated on October 4th? We love animals so are excited to be participating in a really fun book tour. Michael Morpurgo is one of the UK’s most celebrated authors, having written over 140 books in a career spanning over 40 years. He has won numerous prizes, including The Children’s Book Award for a record fourth time last year for his novel An Eagle in the Snow.

Many of his novels have been adapted into stage shows and several of his titles have been made into films, most famously the Steven Spielberg-directed War Horse. Some of Michael’s most popular books feature stories of animals and I’m working with Harper Collins Children’s Books to tell you a little more about The Dancing Bear. If you follow Harper Collins on Twitter or Facebook or look out for the #MorpurgosAnimals you will be able to see all the other bloggers who are taking part, highlighting some of his most loved animal novels including The Butterfly Lion, The Fox and The Ghost King, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Born To Run, An Elephant in the Garden, Toro! Toro!, Shadow, Kaspar Prince of Cats and Running Wild.

The Dancing Bear by Michael Morpurgo

High in the Mountains an abandoned bear cub is adopted by a lonely orphan child. Soon they are inseparable – happy and safe, until the arrival of a glamorous film crew who need a dancing bear …

The Dancing Bear is not a very long book and my 7 year old loved it. At 61 pages we actually read it in one go. There are a generous amount of illustrations and the story is so magical that we really wanted to know what was going to happen to Roxanne and Bruno. We couldn’t put the book down and enjoyed reading it together.

We haven’t read much by Michael Morpurgo before and I think this was a great introduction to him. My son loves animals and wanted to know what was going to happen to Bruno. He didn’t like the fact that he was put in a cage but I had to explain that not all bears are as friendly as Paddington or Winnie the Pooh!

This was an interesting story and we didn’t want to believe that Roxanne would ever leave Bruno. I suppose we are used to cats and dogs, smaller animals which you can take with you if you move house or go on holiday. A bear is a different creature and we were both a bit upset how the story ended! I don’t want to give what happens to Roxanne and Bruno but we would totally recommend this book if you love animals and a great story. If you want to read this book then I have a couple of activity sheets which will help you explore the story.

Michael Morpurgo’s favourite animal

Many of Michael’s books look at the amazing relationships between humans and animals, and the role they can play in shaping people’s life stories. Many are inspired by real-life events. Did you know that Michael’s favourite animal is the elephant?

We were given the opportunity to ask him a question. My son asked this: We all love to visit the zoo. Michael obviously loves all kinds of animals too, but has he seen any of the animals he writes about in their natural habitat, rather than just at the zoo?

Michael replied: It is really important that we do everything we can to save the habitation of animals in the wild. There are many animals that I have only read about or seen on film, but I was lucky enough to go to Sri Lanka a few years ago now where I saw elephants in their natural habitat. An elephant is the central character of my book Running Wild.

Win a signed copy of The Dancing Bear by Michael Morpurgo

I’ve teamed up with Harper Collins Children’s Books and have one copy of The Dancing Bear written by Michael Morpurgo, with illustrations by Christian Birmingham, to giveaway to a lucky reader.

To enter my giveaway you must answer the question via the Rafflecopter widget below, there are some bonus entries too. The giveaway is open to those with a UK postal address only and ends on 29th October. The winners’ name will appear on this post. Good luck!

Don’t forget to check out my other giveaways on my competition page and look out for #MorpurgosAnimals on Twitter or Facebook for more great reviews and giveaways.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • Reply
    Tracy Nixon
    October 11, 2017 at 7:53 am

    A dog!

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    October 11, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Would like to win book

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    October 11, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Favourite animal is tiger

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    October 11, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Oh, this post took me right back to my childhood! I used to love Michael Morpurgo books and I have very fond memories of reading Warhorse, Kensuke’s Kingdom and Cool, especially in primary school! This book sounds lovely, definitely one I would have loved when I was younger!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Ooh my son really loves animals so I’ll have to show him these books! His favourite animal is a tortoise.

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    October 11, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    This sounds interesting and I think we all agree with the author that we need to help save animals natural environments. My middle daughter loves pandas but I know that they need help now as their natural environment is getting much smaller.

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    Rhian Westbury
    October 11, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    That’s a good-sized book to get through in one go, sounds interesting x

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    Angie McDonald
    October 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    I love penguins!

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    laura banks
    October 11, 2017 at 7:52 pm


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    Marylyn Hammersley
    October 11, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Had to have a favourite as I am a great animal lover, but the magnificent Tiger probably just edges it.

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    Hayley F
    October 11, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Love cats x

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    Susan Lloyd
    October 11, 2017 at 8:20 pm


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    iain maciver
    October 11, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    cats and dogs

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    October 11, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Grey Seals!

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    Ashleigh Dougherty
    October 11, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I LOVE Michael Morpurgo stories. As a kid, I used to read so many of his books. I took part in a handwriting competition at primary school and ended up winning a signed book by him 🙂

  • Reply
    October 11, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Sounds really good. Ill have to ask my kids of they would like a copy.

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    Margaret GALLAGHER
    October 11, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Bears so many different kinds

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    October 12, 2017 at 12:02 am


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    Angela Treadway
    October 12, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Snow leopard x

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    john prendergast
    October 12, 2017 at 1:30 am


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    melanie stirling
    October 12, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Guinea pigs

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    Liz Burton
    October 12, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Dos are my favourite, although if you ask my daughter she’d probably say sloths!

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    Ray Becker
    October 12, 2017 at 12:51 pm


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    Amy Deverson
    October 12, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    I used to love reading Michael Morpurgo when I was younger. Great giveaway!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    The elephant is my favourite animal

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    fiona waterworth
    October 12, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    I love giraffe’s so big yet so elegant

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    October 13, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Favorite animal is the cheetah. Great post!

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    October 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    I love giraffes

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    Linda Ford
    October 14, 2017 at 9:07 am

    I love monkeys, they are so clever and fun!

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    jo liddement
    October 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I love guinea pigs

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    October 14, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    I remember I used read Michael Moporgo books when I was younger, they were always so exciting! X

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    claire woods
    October 15, 2017 at 9:14 am


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    Angela Kelly
    October 15, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    I love cats but I won’t get another one as I become too attached.

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    Laura Pritchard
    October 15, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    I love Meerkats!

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    Mark R
    October 15, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Gorillas or elephants

  • Reply
    Susie Wilkinson
    October 15, 2017 at 11:48 pm


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    Angela Boucher
    October 16, 2017 at 10:19 am

    My favourite animal is a dog. We have a Labrador and he is the most loving and affectionate animal ever.

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    Natalie Turner
    October 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I love cats, they are wonderful 🙂

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    Susan B
    October 16, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    In the home it is cats but in the wild I like cute prairie dogs.

  • Reply
    Ruth Harwood
    October 17, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Love cats – I’d fill my home with them if the kids didn’t keep saying no!!

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    michelle o'neill
    October 17, 2017 at 11:36 am

    meerkats are adorable

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    Julie T
    October 17, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Sheep dominate our lives

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    Clive Gerrard
    October 17, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    I love reading out loud to children

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    Alice Dixon
    October 17, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I love elephants

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    George Spedding
    October 17, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    We have a goldfish called Darwin and my grandaughter loves him

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    Graham Ross
    October 18, 2017 at 5:05 am

    I love Tigers

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    Sheila Hodgson
    October 18, 2017 at 9:23 am

    I love all dogs.

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    Maggie Norvell
    October 18, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I love my dog best in the world, but in the wild I’d go for bears.

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    Sharon Lou Johnson
    October 18, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    its monkeys in my house and i have 3 very cheeky monkeys lol x

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    Sadiyya Maryam
    October 18, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Elephants have always been my favourite animal.

  • Reply
    clair downham
    October 19, 2017 at 11:42 am

    snow leopard thankyou

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    Victoria Prince
    October 19, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    My favourite animal is a frog! You’d never have guessed, would you 🙂

  • Reply
    Emily C
    October 19, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Narwhals – the unicorns of the sea!

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    Rachel Craig
    October 20, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Dog, they are so loyal.

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    Sophie D
    October 20, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Dogs for sure

  • Reply
    October 20, 2017 at 9:59 pm


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    Rachel Craig
    October 21, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Dog, as they are so loyal.

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    October 21, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    I love zebras

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    Karen hutchinson
    October 22, 2017 at 12:33 am

    I love giraffes

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    October 22, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    A manatee!

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    Laura Marshall
    October 23, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I love sloths- think they’re my spirit animal!

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    Christina Palmer
    October 23, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I love dogs

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    Kim M
    October 23, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Love cats – can’t imagine not living with one – they make a house a home x

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    Mandy Betts
    October 23, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Dogs and pandas

  • Reply
    Lindsey Jones
    October 24, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Polar Bear

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    janine atkin
    October 24, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    i love elephants

  • Reply
    hannah igoe
    October 24, 2017 at 3:37 pm


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    Sally Collingwood
    October 24, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    I love cats

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    theresa cooke
    October 25, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    my Son asked me this tonight at bed time. Its a Snail, his response was ” what?? ” . i read book about snails and they are very interesting actually. can change sex, have square teeth etc

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    October 26, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    a dog

  • Reply
    October 26, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    The koala bear so cute

  • Reply
    EJ Dunn
    October 26, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Pumas are my favourite.

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    October 26, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    I love dogs but also I love to see foxes out in the garden and in the fields near us.

  • Reply
    sheri Darby
    October 26, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    We love otters

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    Rebecca Howells (@PeanutHog)
    October 26, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Hedgehogs and guinea pigs

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    October 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm


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    Stewart Biddle
    October 27, 2017 at 4:37 pm


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    Simone Griffin
    October 27, 2017 at 8:53 pm


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    Charlotte A
    October 27, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Polar bears <3

  • Reply
    Sam Parkes
    October 27, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Dolphins such friendly playful animals, me and my 9yr old got to swim with them this year.

  • Reply
    lauren porter
    October 28, 2017 at 8:07 am


  • Reply
    Allan Fullarton
    October 28, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Love Seals, they are so much fun.

  • Reply
    Alison Macdonald
    October 28, 2017 at 11:15 am


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    Karen Dixon
    October 28, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I love cats – my 2 are the best

  • Reply
    October 28, 2017 at 5:59 pm


  • Reply
    Erica Price
    October 28, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    I have to say cat as I have two.

  • Reply
    Victoria B
    October 28, 2017 at 7:05 pm


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    Fiona Johnstone
    October 28, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    I love elephants. They are so wise

  • Reply
    Ruth lee
    October 28, 2017 at 7:32 pm


  • Reply
    Emer Fogarty
    October 28, 2017 at 8:04 pm


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    Sarah Hutt
    October 28, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    my favouite is a fox theyre so beautiful

  • Reply
    Dale Dow
    October 28, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    I absolutely adore lambs, I won’t even eat lamb because of it x

  • Reply
    Mariane Daniels
    October 28, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Bear, that’s what my dad used to call me 🙂

  • Reply
    Marie Rule
    October 28, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    My favourite animal is a panda. They are awesome.

  • Reply
    Adrian Bold
    October 28, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    I love the giant pandas. So cute!

  • Reply
    Samantha M
    October 29, 2017 at 5:24 am

    My absolute favourite is dogs but I do have pet rats who I love very much!

  • Reply
    Susan Trubey
    October 29, 2017 at 5:38 am


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    jacqui rushton
    October 29, 2017 at 6:32 am

    I love red pandas!

  • Reply
    Danielle Pooley
    October 29, 2017 at 6:41 am

    I love elephants

  • Reply
    Michelle Stewart
    October 29, 2017 at 7:00 am


  • Reply
    October 29, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Our pet cat; Guinness. Generally don’t have favourites depends on why & mood.

  • Reply
    Chris Hobbs
    October 29, 2017 at 8:29 am

    The cheetah, fast elegant and beautifully marked x

  • Reply
    Michelle Ferguson
    October 29, 2017 at 9:18 am

    I love dogs especially my two labradors, Murphy and Nessie

  • Reply
    October 29, 2017 at 10:31 am


  • Reply
    Laura Pyper
    October 29, 2017 at 10:40 am


  • Reply
    Di Dilly
    October 29, 2017 at 10:42 am

    My favourite animals (birds) are penguins. I am so lucky my son runs the Sealife Centre on Darling Harbour Sydney. When I went to visit him earlier this year he arranged for us to go in with a keeper to feed, blow bubble and play football with the dear little creatures. I have just heard that they have just started laying eggs so I am about to become an honorary nanny.

  • Reply
    Keith Hunt
    October 29, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Basset Hounds

  • Reply
    Karen Scott
    October 29, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Fav animal is: koala…so cute and teddy like lol

  • Reply
    ashleigh walbridge
    October 29, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I love cats. big and small they are so cute

  • Reply
    Joanna Ford
    October 29, 2017 at 1:28 pm


  • Reply
    linda curtis
    October 29, 2017 at 1:42 pm


  • Reply
    Tammy Neal
    October 29, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Penguins xx

  • Reply
    Aaron Milne
    October 29, 2017 at 4:45 pm


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    Kev Cannon
    October 29, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    We love meerkats

  • Reply
    katrina adams
    October 29, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Tigers and Wolves! Although I have a soft spot for some of the smaller furries such as otters. Too cute!

  • Reply
    laura stewart
    October 29, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    cats! ive got four of them x

  • Reply
    Pam Francis Gregory
    October 29, 2017 at 7:32 pm


  • Reply
    Suzanne Jackson
    October 29, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    My favourite animal is a squirrel

  • Reply
    Jo Hutchings
    October 29, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    My favourite animals are cats.

  • Reply
    Lauren Stebbings
    October 29, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I love wolves and guinea-pigs. Orcas are pretty awesome too.

  • Reply
    Natalie Crossan
    October 29, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Penguins or doggies 😀

  • Reply
    Andrea A
    October 29, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    My favourite animal is a horse.

  • Reply
    Kulwinder Lombardelli
    October 29, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    An orangutan💚

  • Reply
    Karen Richards
    October 29, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    My favourite animal is a seal

  • Reply
    Sarah Austin
    October 29, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Sea turtles – they are mesmerising!

  • Reply
    Ben Robb
    October 29, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    i love cats

  • Reply
    Jo Glasspool
    October 29, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    I adore orangutans.x

  • Reply
    Carol Cliffe
    October 29, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    We love dogs the most!

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