PPBF: Xander’s Panda Party

Hello Friday and Perfect Picture Book Friday:


My choice for this week:

Xander's Panda Party

Xander’s Panda Party

Written By Linda Sue Park

Illustrated by Matt Phelan

Clarion Books, September 2013


Suitable For Ages: 4 and up

Themes/Topics: inclusion/diversity, animals/panda, parties, zoo

Opening: “Xander planned a panda party. Yes, a dandy whoop-de-do!”

Brief Synopsis: Xander’s plan to host a panda party falls through, since he is the only panda at the zoo, but when he extends the invitation to all of the bears, complications ensue.

Links To Resources: The Smithsonian National Zoological Park page on Giant Panda’s.  Diversity in the classroom. PandaCam. (As I wrote this, the PandaCam wasn’t working, but this could be a temporary problem related to the U.S. Federal Government shutdown.)

Why I Like This Book: I heard author Linda Sue Park speak at the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI speak at the fall Letters and Lines conference. She shared Xander’s Panda Party during her address to the group. I know it’s easy to be impressed by a speaker and her work, but WOW. This is a fun story. It offers a different twist on a party and a zoo story. Plus adds in how to be inclusive, as Xander works through his party invitations. I wanted to get my hands on it to break down the page turns, but the conference bookstore sold out.

Amazon reports the book is 40 pages. The book has a two-page author’s note about the animal groups in the story. The illustrations are soft and fun. I’m traveling this week and as Enzo rebelled against the sheep being held captive in the Kindle, we visited the library with Grandpa. I went straight to the Ps to find this book there! I doubt I’ll be studying it much this week, but we will read it multiple times.

To find more PPBF books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

This is my new blog. I haven’t participated in Perfect Picture Book Fridays since March as I finished website design classes and several project. If you want to keep up with other blog posts, please sign to follow future posts via the RSS feed or by email.

I write {picture books and memoir}. I design {websites}. I eat {chocolate}.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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32 thoughts on “PPBF: Xander’s Panda Party

  1. Welcome back! What a fabulous book to mark your return!!!!! I adore Matt Phelan, and of course, Linda Sue Park is extremely talented. I’m on my way to the library, so keep your fingers crossed. Thank-you.

  2. The opening sentence is a great hook into the story! It grabbed my attention. I love the idea of this book about diversity. Sounds like it is very well written and humorous. Great choice! Love your new look.

  3. I agree that the first sentence is an attention grabber and I love the sounds of the subtle alliteration in it.

    This is another book that will go on my library list for this week.
    Thanks for introducing it to us.

    PS: Love your new web site.

    • Sue, I haven’t counted the text, but it is sparse like most picture books. It looks like the publisher went over the regular 32-page book to include her author’s note, which is worth it!

    • Jarm, It really does! Of course, after reading this one several times, it stands up to the test of my son’s attention (which means a lot more than my attention span). It’s a fun book.

  4. I love how even the synopsis rhymes. I am assuming the whole text rhymes? I saw pandas at the San Diego Zoo a year ago. I could have stood there for hours looking at them.