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Children's LiteratureGiant pandas begin life as tiny newborns weighing about four ounces (about the size of a stick of butter). Baby pandas grow quickly and by the time they open their eyes six weeks later they weigh about six pounds and look like cuddly teddy bears. Pandas weigh about eighty pounds by the end of the first year of life. They are well on their way to becoming fully grown pandas, which weigh over 250 pounds and reach a height of six feet. A steady diet of bamboo (up to 40 pounds a day) helps the panda to grow large and powerful. Baby teeth, which appear at about six months of age, are eventually replaced with strong adult teeth. When panthers or other predators approach, adult pandas can either scare them away or climb trees using their sharp claws. Pandas grow thick fur as the weather gets cold and they stay in caves or sheltered places when snowstorms blow in. Pandas stay with their mothers for about a year and a half. Then the moms leave to look for mates and the young pandas are on their own. Arnold has presented a concise description of this beginning phase of a panda's life. Her large, full-color pictures are appealing and aptly depict the information in the text. A map, a list of Panda Fun Facts, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index make this an appropriate choice for young researchers. Part of the "Caroline Arnold's Animal" series. 2006, Picture Window Books, Ages 5 to 9.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.