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.
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