Panda Kindergarten

( 2 )

Overview

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 Preserve. 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 ...

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Overview

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 Preserve. 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Ryder's book about the lives of young pandas is an exemplary model of how appealing, engaging, and resonant an informational picture book can be. Everything said in this books reflects what happens in the real world in China's Wolong Nature Preserve, which is dedicated to keeping pandas from becoming extinct. At the same time, the simple yet warm text makes a clear connection between young pandas and young children. Who would not be touched by the description: "An ever-so-big mother panda carries her ever-so-tiny baby, holding firmly but tenderly." If the word were not enough, Dr Feng's photo illustrations make clear, mothers love their children. However, as the young grow, be they pandas or humans, part of the work of childhood is developing the skills that will lead to a successful adult life. Anyone who loves pandas will want this book. Certainly early childhood classrooms will find it an effective way to introduce science, along with the importance of the social-emotional dimension of childhood. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—This inviting book introduces 16 cubs at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda at Wolong Nature Reserve. Ryder describes the organization's purpose and procedures to save the animals from extinction, focusing on the reserve's efforts to keep the pandas healthy and safe and placing less emphasis on their primary role as a breeding center, which works well for the intended audience. The author explains that as the pandas grow older, they may be released into the wild or they may stay in the safety of the compound to "have cubs of their own." She also describes how staff members help to care for twins, whereas in the wild, only one baby can survive. Feng's clear and detailed photographs are visual treats, giving readers a glimpse into the feeding and care of the pandas. There's a high cuteness factor as the cubs play, sleep, and interact with caregivers. Additional facts about giant pandas are appended, but are almost hidden on the CIP page. The colorful photography and smooth text pair well for a quick, instructive read-a-loud.—Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Ryder's latest focuses on the care and learning opportunities that are given to new panda cubs at China's Wolong Nature Preserve. Beginning with birth, the author describes how panda mothers care for their newborns and how the Preserve helps. While pandas often have twins, mothers can only care for one baby at a time, so workers and mother trade babies each week, allowing each twin to receive the care it needs. Once large enough to leave their mothers, they enter panda kindergarten-a large playground where they can learn, explore, play, make friends with the other cubs and learn the skills they will need to survive in the wild, should they be released (some will stay at the center to give birth to the next batch of cubs). Dr. Feng's adorable photos are the highlight here, the hugely photogenic black-and-white faces compensating for an occasionally overenthusiastic text. While this is a good choice for younger readers, for depth of information, counting practice and background on the Wolong Reserve, Sandra Markle's How Many Baby Pandas? (2008) is a better choice. (panda facts) (Informational picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060578503
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/23/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 157,501
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanne Ryder has always loved pandas, starting with the very first small panda toy she had as a child. She has continued to be fascinatd by these rare and wonderful animals throughout her career as a writer. She is the award-winning author of numerous picture books, including A Pair of Polar Bears: Twin Cubs Find a Home at the San Diego Zoo; Little Panda: The World Welcomes Hua Mei at the San Diego Zoo; My Mother's Voice; My Father's Hands; Big Bear Ball; and Wild Birds. She lives in Pacific Grove, California, with her husband, Laurence Yep, who is also an author.

Dr. Katherine Feng was a veterinarian before a photo safari to Kenya inspired her to pursue a second career as a photographer and tour escort. When she traveled to China in 1982 for a memorial ceremony in honor of her grandfather, General Feng Yuxiang, she felt an immediate connection with the country. Her passion for wildlife brought her to the Wolong Nature Reserve, where she formed a long-lasting bond with the pandas and researchers. She now escorts guests to the Reserve several times each year. Dr. Feng lives in Durango, Colorado.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Photos

    I have a 4 year old that is really into Pandas and she loves the book. These Pandas were from the Wolong Nature Preserve over in China. I believe I later read that this Preserve was heavily damaged not long ago in an earthquake and that they had to split most of the Pandas up due to the damage sustained. If my memory is correct, I believe the Chinese Government has plans to rebuild the preserve.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 28, 2011

    Beautiful photos!

    My four year old panda lover got this for Christmas and LOVED the book and all of the great photos of young pandas. He learned a lot about them, as well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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