PAPA'S PANDA by Nancy Willard


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How Papa cons James into asking for a panda for his birthday, when Papa has already purchased the panda but James is suddenly demanding a teddy bear like friend Danny's. It's all done via a what-if conversation about a real panda coming to visit: ""'Suppose he doesn't fit in the car?' asked James. 'We would have to buy a bus,' said Papa. 'But suppose we don't have enough money to buy a bus?' asked James. 'Why, . . . you would work.' 'What would I work at?' asked James. 'You would run the elevator at Wallace's?"" And so on until the large, cranky panda is imagined knocking on the door: "". . . and you will answer the door. . . . You must say to him very gently, 'I am sorry but I already have a panda'""--which, suddenly, is just what James desperately wants. Very clever of Papa, and a nifty trick all told.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich