XANDER'S PANDA PARTY by Linda Sue Park

XANDER'S PANDA PARTY

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 5

KIRKUS REVIEW

As a member of a rare species, Xander the Panda runs into some evolutionary conflicts when faced with the eternal quandary of whom to invite to his party.

As pandas are thin on the ground, he decides to expand the guest list to bears. This plan is upset by a bear look-alike, Koala, who turns out to be a marsupial, not a bear. Even broadening the invitation to all mammals doesn’t please everyone; Rhinoceros won’t come without his bird, so Xander invites all the birds. Crocodile adds to Xander’s stress by insisting that reptiles, being a prehistoric bird-related species, should be invited too. The solution to Xander’s dilemma comes from tiny Amanda Salamander, who suggests inviting all creatures, which (surprise) includes humans too! The party is a roaring success, and a nice girl panda shows up at the right moment to keep Xander company. Phelan’s pencil-and-watercolor vignettes are imaginative and charming, making the most of the story’s humorous potential. Though a solid addition to the popular category of books about inclusiveness, the tale, like Xander’s party, feels a little too-hastily put together. Children who chuckle at the sight of Xander lowering an invitation into the lion’s zoo enclosure may find themselves wondering how prey animals will fare at Xander’s shindig, for instance. Park includes a final note about pandas and species preservation.

Unquestionably warmhearted, but its emphasis on zoological facts somewhat undermines its whimsy. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-547-55865-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2013




MORE BY LINDA SUE PARK

ChildrenTHE THIRD GIFT by Linda Sue Park
by Linda Sue Park
ChildrenA LONG WALK TO WATER by Linda Sue Park
by Linda Sue Park
ChildrenKEEPING SCORE by Linda Sue Park
by Linda Sue Park

MORE BY MATT PHELAN

ChildrenBLUFFTON by Matt Phelan
by Matt Phelan
ChildrenAROUND THE WORLD by Matt Phelan
by Matt Phelan
ChildrenI'LL BE THERE by Ann Stott
by Ann Stott

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenCATERINA AND THE PERFECT PARTY by Erin Eitter Kono
by Erin Eitter Kono
ChildrenBIRTHDAY AT THE PANDA PALACE by Stephanie Calmenson
by Stephanie Calmenson
ChildrenTHE NEW ARRIVAL by Vanya Nastanlieva
by Vanya Nastanlieva