Xander’s Panda Partyby Linda Sue Park (Author), Matt Phelan (Illustrator)
How to host the Perfect Party!
Panda planned to throw a party. He makes invitations and decides to send them to all his “Bear” friends at the zoo. But Koala objects! She is not a bear.. can she still come to Xander panda’s party?
Xander was not sure what to do? So he thinks really hard. Finally Xander decides to expand his guest list And invite more animals!
However, Rhino has a slight problem. He won’t come without his bird. Well, Xander does not want to disappoint and feels really blue. What to do? He thinks and thinks some more. Then he has a brilliant idea! And makes fresh NEW invitations. Its time to invite ALL birds and ALL mammals at the zoo to his party
With the help of his new friend Amanda Salamander, Xander arranges a fun party for everyone at the zoo. The party is in full swing when a truck arrives. At the back, there is a large wooden crate. Who could it possibly be?
There is SO much going on this lovely picture book Xanders Panda Party. The verse rhymes but without a childish feel so that it keeps older kids reading. As a matter of fact the language introduces wonderful new combinations of rhymes.
“Xander felt a little blue.
He chewed bamboo, a stalk or two.
He fidgeted and paced the floor, then scratched an itch and paced some more.
Finally, a firm decision: Xander’s brand-new party vision!”
“From her tree Koala hollered, ‘Xander, I am not a bear.’
Xander didn’t understand her.
‘Koala Bear, you’re not a bear?’
He stared at her in consternation.
‘Sorry for the complication.
I know I’m called Koala Bear.but I am not a bear, I swear.
I am a marsupial. Marsupials –we’re rather rare.
Will I not be welcome there?'”
Apart from the unique rhyme for verse, Xanders Panda Party has a hidden learning agenda. Remember the technique of sorting, grouping, classifying and ordering? Through clever story telling, Linda Sue Park introduces the idea of grouping animals in various ways.
Yet another theme is the theme of inclusion. While Xander ponders over who to invite, one is engaged in the idea that all animals tall and small, feathered or not, are invited and included in Xander’s party.
Clever execution, wonderful learning, and absolutely wonderful/engaging art work! This picture books is a perfect 10!