Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Panda Kindergarten by Joanne Ryder

Book Jacket

School is in session!  But this is no ordinary kindergarten class.  Meet sixteen young giant panda cubs at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda at the Wolong Nature Reserve.  The cubs are raised together from infancy in a protected setting, where they grow strong.  Under the watchful eyes of the scientists and workers, the cubs learn skills that will help prepare them to be released into the wild.

Follow a day in the life of the cubs with Joanne Ryder's spare and simple text and full-color photographs by Dr. Katherine Feng, Wolong's leading photographer.

These special cubs have captured the attention of people around the globe.  Thanks to dedicated staff and unique resources at Wolong, this threatened species now has a second chance.  Here is the true story of their incredible journey toward hope and survival.


Pandas are one of the animals that make me think, "But you are impossibly cute?  Are you really real?"  The photographs in this book have not assured me of their reality.  Many of them make me curl into myself and sigh, "Aaaawwww."

And sixteen of them?  Can't handle it.

I anticipate many kids, after reading Panda Kindergarten, will want to grow up and be a panda scientist.  Maybe some adults will want to change careers, too!  Their job is recorded as one of dedication, love, and lots of fun.

I do wish the book had dealt a bit about how growing up in the nursery differs from growing up in the wild.  It was mentioned that pandas often have twins, but will only take care of one.  At the nursery, workers make sure the second twin is well-cared for, but what happens in the wild?  I assume the worst, but I would like to know for sure!

Still, a very good, very cute book.  Now excuse me while I go cuddle with a panda stuffed animal.

Four out of five panda playgrounds.

Release Date: June 2009
Reading Level: Grade PreK+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  MONARCH

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