Men, women and children now rate pandas on their top ten list of animal favorites. T'was not always so. And the story of the discovery of this China doll and its subsequent rise to unprecedented popularity (with the help of the Teddy Bear) is truly fascinating. The first recording of the Giant Panda by a European was in the 1800's and was submitted by a French missionary who, distressed by the state of the Chinese heathen, pursued his naturalist/scientific bent. Later, museums vied for pelts to mount and display and status seeking hunters journeyed round the world for an unsure shot at the rare specimens. Among these were the sons of Teddy Roosevelt. But most interesting is the story of the first attempt to bring back a specimen. American Bill Harkness left his two week old marriage to complete with Britisher Floyd Tangier Smith only to die mysteriously in Shanghai His wife Ruth then took over for an equally mysterious expedition which did manage to net a baby, promptly named Su-Lin and brought to the U.S. It's been "panda-monium" ever since as this book points out. The authors write well with particular attention to detail and the pictures as well as the subject are charming.