Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Park

Xander's Panda PartyAs the holidays approach, young children are swept up by their parent’s party planning. Xander’s Panda Party is a perfect story to share about how important it is to be inclusive when creating guest lists and planning get togethers.

Xander begins by planning a Panda Party, but realizes he is the only panda at the Zoo and so he expands his guest list to include all bears including Black Bear, Brown Bear, Polar Bears and Koala Bears. But, when Xander delivers the invitation to Koala, Koala points out that he is not a bear, he is a marsupial. After some hard thinking and bamboo chewing, Xander decides to invite all mammals to the party. However, Rhinoceros says he will not attend without his bird. Xander eventually decides to invite everyone at the Zoo and a wonderful time is had by all.

In addition to containing wonderful lessons about inclusiveness, this story also is a thoughtful introduction to animal taxonomic classification with wonderful end notes about classifications and pandas. The author, Linda Sue Park, clearly researched carefully when creating this book. Park has a number of picture books, poems and novels for children, including the Newbery Award winner A Single Shard. Her meticulous research and impeccable prose have been carried to her newest offering. Xander’s Panda Party is told in delightful rhymes that will keep preschoolers hanging on every word. The illustrations are soft ink and watercolor and create adorable animals that children will love to look at. There are almost too many good reasons to read this picture book! Please do not miss it!

Posted by: Kelly

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