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Monday, November 14, 2016

Panda Pants, written by Jacqueline Davies and illustrated by Sidney Hanson. Alfred A. Knopf, Random House. 2016. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"You have FUR. You
don't need pants to keep
"Pants would be warmer."
"Are you cold?"
"No, but I could be.
At any moment."
"You will not be cold.
At ANY moment ... "

Have you ever had a word war with your kids, or your students? Somehow you know that no matter what you say, there is going to be a rebuttal to your statement. I am sure most of you have been there at one time or another. It is a conversation that papa and his little one are having as they travel through the bamboo forest. Wait - is someone following them?

Little panda has decided that 'pants' will make him happy, and he is determined to sweep aside any objection that his father has. He has all the right arguments. They are warm, soft, impressive, and needed. Papa is not convinced. No amount of dialogue seems to change either mind.

As they pass a scarecrow he borrows its pants. Rushing to catch up with his father, he arrives just in time to face an intimidating snow leopard who has been furtively following them. Little panda's quick response to the inherent danger, a watermelon and the support of his animal friends - and his pants -  make quick work of that threat. He then takes the pants and gives them to a rabbit friend. Papa wonders why, and Little Panda has the perfect response.

Familiar, funny and having huge appeal for little ones who know how to be oppositional, this is a story that you will be asked to share many times. The gorgeous mixed media images are full of charm and perfectly placed page after page to bring the two main characters to expressive life.

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