In Bamboo Gardens, two little pandas, Panda and Pandora, live next door to each other. A fence and shyness separate the pair. While playing outside with his toys, Panda wishes that Pandora would come over to play. On the other hand, Pandora is not having much fun when she bounces the ball; she wants someone to bounce the ball back to her. The two pandas peek and spy on each other over the fence but both pandas are too shy to say "hello" and invite the other to come and play. Read to find out what it takes to get Panda and Pandora together to play. In the illustrations, readers will see the pandas' loneliness in their expressions and actions. Panda has glum facial features as he plays alone in his yard; Pandora is so painfully shy that she hides in a basket. Children may identify with the pandas' shyness dilemma. The story may be a springboard for discussions on finding ways to initiate friendships or play between peers. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
When little ones are very timid, it can take some time to form a friendship. Panda lives at Number 1 Bamboo Gardens, right next door to Pandora at Number 2. He longs to say, "Please come over and play!" but for some reason, whenever he sees her, he runs away instead. Next door, Pandora isn't having much fun either. She can't seesaw by herself, and throwing a ball to nobody makes her sad. Then, one winter's day, it starts to snow. Panda rushes outside to make some snowballs, which he throws over the fence to Number 2. When Pandora doesn't respond, Panda gets worried. What if she feels poorly or has gone away? In truth, she's been inside the whole time, but she has the same worry about Panda. "Two very worried pandas / Wondered if they might / Be brave enough to go next door / And say, ‘Are you all right?' " They open their doors to check, colliding midway. An instant bond is formed. Together Panda and Pandora build a snowman, bounce up and down on the seesaw, dance on their ice skates and read storybooks. Best of all, they promise to be friends "[f]orever and ever." Pandas make adorable stand-ins for little children, as Varley's friendly watercolor illustrations attest. Sweet tonic for skittish young listeners. (Picture book. 3-5)
Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)
Meet the Author
Julia Jarman is the author of more than a hundred books for children, including The Big Red Tub (Orchard Books/Scholastic) and Flying Friends (Scholastic). She lives with her husband and Perdita the cat in Bedford, north of London.