If You Were a Panda Bear


The authors of If You Were a Penguin, Wendell and Florence Minor, turn their attention to bears in the educational picture book If You Were a Panda Bear.
If You Were a Panda Bear introduces different types of bears to young children. Through the poems in this charming storybook, kids will learn that pandas are shy and eat bamboo, black bears love to climb trees, and ...

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The authors of If You Were a Penguin, Wendell and Florence Minor, turn their attention to bears in the educational picture book If You Were a Panda Bear.
If You Were a Panda Bear introduces different types of bears to young children. Through the poems in this charming storybook, kids will learn that pandas are shy and eat bamboo, black bears love to climb trees, and grizzly bears can be up to ten feet tall. A section at the back includes even more fun animal facts.
The full-color illustrations are playful and bring the personality of each bear wonderfully to life.

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Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
Praise for If You Were a Penguin: “Wendell’s vibrant large-scale figures, set against bracing polar landscapes, have enough personality to captivate a crowd.”
Children's Literature - Denise Hartzler
In this sweet picture book, Wendell and Florence Minor engage readers with the peculiarities of many different species of bears. If you were a polar bear, you'd peek through the ice. If you were a sloth bear, you would have long claws and strange hair. If you were a moon bear, you'd only come out at night. But which bear is the best bear of all? That's up to young readers to decide but if you ask the Minors, they'd say it might be a bear that all children are familiar with — a teddy bear. The colorful illustrations and real life images of bears soar off the pages. The easy rhyming and tempo of the lines are perfectly paced, making it an enjoyable read aloud or sit-in your lap read. Teachers or parents can provide additional fun facts about each of the bears in this book. Facts include their size, favorite food and sometimes the trouble that wild bears find themselves causing. This is a good book for emerging readers as well as for the read aloud crowd. This book will encourage children to learn more and enjoy the parade of bears with each passing page. Reviewer: Denise Hartzler
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A picture-book introduction to the world's eight bear species. Similar in format to the Minors' If You Were a Penguin (HarperCollins, 2009), Panda Bear is written in rhymed quatrains that have minimal facts about each breed (e.g., a sun bear's long tongue helps it get honey; and grizzlies can be 10 feet tall and love to catch salmon with their paws and teeth). Each four-liner is divided between the one or two spreads allotted to each species. Skillfully detailed paintings show the variety in textures of the bears' fur-some soft, some wiry, others thick and fluffy. Facial close-ups of panda, sloth, black, moon, sun, and spectacled bears show intelligence and compassion. Because many of the poems pair a small fact or two with the nonsense of forced rhyme (e.g., "If you were a spectacled bear,/You'd have furry eyeglasses./And if you went to school,/You'd look smart in your classes"), libraries that purchase the book may want to consider cataloging it as a picture book. In contrast to the simple text, two appended pages of "Bear Fun Facts" and a half page of excellent "Bear Sources and Websites" are more appropriate for older children. Bob Barner's Bears! Bears! Bears! (Chronicle, 2010), an informational book that is also written in rhyme, ends with a fact about bear cubs of each species and a colorful map that shows where they live.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
A global array of bears parade by in this delightful story for the very young. Panda bears who eat bamboo and take long naps lead off. They are followed by bears of the sloth, polar, black, moon, sun, grizzly and spectacled variety. And the final entry is, of course, every child's favorite: smiling teddy bears nestled together and looking very much like the bears on the previous pages. The Minors previously collaborated on If You Were a Penguin (2009). Here, their verse is just as breezy and dotted with occasional bits of information. "If you were a sun bear, / You'd have a looooooooong tongue / to help you get honey. / Be careful--don't get stung!" The expansive double-page spreads show the bears in their natural settings; a polar bear stares into the icy water, and a black bear snoozes on a tree limb. The textured brush strokes create realistic and expressive images, while playful and colorful variations in the type add to the appeal. A lovely title to engage the imaginations and interest of budding animal enthusiasts. (bear facts, resources) (Picture book. 2-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061950902
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/25/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 684,446
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.34 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Florence Minor is the author of Christmas Tree!, illustrated by Wendell Minor, which Kirkus Reviews praised for its "imaginative Christmas trees and poetic, rhyming text." If You Were a Penguin, her second collaboration with Wendell, was selected by Pennsylvania for its "One Book, Every Young Child" early literacy program. If You Were a Panda Bear is her third picture book for children.

Wendell Minor is the illustrator of more than fifty award-winning picture books for children, including Mojave by Diane Siebert, Abe Lincoln Remembers by Ann Turner, The Seashore Book by Charlotte Zolotow, and the New York Times bestseller Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin, as well as numerous books about the outdoors with his frequent collaborator, Jean Craighead George, including their classic Everglades.

The Minors live in Connecticut, where they share their home and studio with their cats, Sofie and Cindercat.

Wendell Minor has illustrated numerous award-winning picture books, including Sierra by Diane Siebert, Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin, and America the Beautiful, based on the poem by Katharine Lee Bates. Mr. Minor's art has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Norman Rockwell Museum, among other prestigious institutions. He lives in rural Connecticut with his wife and their two cats, Cindercat and Sofie.

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