Panda Kindergarten by Joanne Ryder

9780060578503Lynn: Meet the kindergarten class at Wolong Nature Reserve – sixteen adorable baby pandas. Small humans will be enchanted by the irresistible photographs of these furry students as they pursue their lessons of playing, eating, napping and exploring their world. Panda Kindergarten (HarperCollins, 2009) is ideal for story hours or quiet time after a busy day at school. Dr. Katherine Feng’s photographs are given center stage in this large and beautiful book. The text provides excellent factual information and reads aloud nicely with a playful cadence. Our 5-year-old focus group loved the idea of a kindergarten for bears and were extremely reluctant to give this book up for Cindy to read.

panda-1Cindy: I’m not giving this book back! Oh, it’s from the public library, I have to give it back. Darn. Ok. This is going on my first middle school library book orders. Yes, I know it is meant for younger elementary students, but take a look at these photos and tell me this won’t be popular in my middle school libraries! My high school senior and her friend were pouring over it tonight, amazed by these photos of little gpanda-3uys being weighed, playing in the snow on playground toys, and peering closely into the camera. It’s heartening to see so many panda babies and the text explains the endangered status of this species and what is being done to preserve them. What a great back to school read aloud for nervous kindergarten students. Listening to this book and looking at these adorable photographs will calm the nerves of many a five-year-old. I love being a librarian, but I wouldn’t mindnonfiction_monday a stint as a kindergarten teacher of baby giant pandas! Sign me up.



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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