Amanda Panda is ecstatic about having the first birthday in her kindergarten, but when her best friend’s birthday threatens to outshine hers, they must find a way to work it out.
Amanda Panda is “special” because she has the first birthday in her class, and she will be “famous” for being the first to turn 6. Her birthday is tomorrow, but when she goes out to the bus with her party invitations in hand, she discovers that Bitsy’s birthday is today! Throughout Bitsy’s birthday celebration at school, Amanda broods—she does not want a “leftover song” or “leftover cupcakes” on “her special day.” Their birthday parties are planned for the same day, too—Saturday—which makes things so bad that they stop speaking to each other. But Amanda and Bitsy quickly find that they miss each other and don’t want to miss each other’s birthday parties. They find a solution that pleases both of them as well as all their friends. Grove’s illustrations in watercolor and ink create endearing pandas in festive scenes with a pastel palette. Amanda Panda’s emotional roller coaster rings true, and the revived friendship is delightful. It may not be the most original story, but as long as children’s emotions run high, it is one that doesn’t get old.
A sweet celebration of friendship and the drama of kindergarten. (Picture book. 3-7)