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*Little Panda* by Renata Liwska
Little Panda
by Renata Liwska
Ages 4-8 32 pages Houghton Mifflin October 2008 Hardcover    

In a simple, yet graceful picture book, Little Panda’s grandfather tells his grandson a story of a time when a tiger flew through the air. The ever-mindful panda mother teaches her son, Bao Bao, all about finding food, safety, climbing, and falling safely. One day, mother panda goes off to find more food, while Bao Bao takes a nap in a willowy tree. When a tiger attacks, the panda falls from the tree, and the tiger, still just hanging on, is catapulted through the sky when the tree springs up.

Combining real panda behaviors (eating bamboo, climbing trees, naps, etc.) with quiet, humanlike characteristics, the story becomes almost like a fairy tale, reinforcing family relationships and teaching an important lesson in safety.

Set in the mountains of China, with simple pagodas in the background, and trees in the foreground, the focus of Little Panda is on the characters. The beautiful pencil drawings make the panda characters irresistible. The author’s note on the inside back flap tells of her research on the book – all done through observation of pandas on the Internet!

Pair this story with Jon Muth’s Zen Shorts or Zen Ties for a story time with both pandas and important life lessons.

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  Kristine Wildner/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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