If you’ve been looking for a picture book that appeals to children of all ages, look no further than The Panda Problem. Deborah Underwood and Hannah Marks pair a sweet story and engaging illustrations to create a beautifully silly books for kids and adults alike.
Panda is quite content with her life in a bamboo grove. There’s lots to eat, plenty of beautiful scenery, lots of friends to spend time with. She wants for nothing. Panda’s biggest problem is that she finds herself in a storybook with a narrator who insists that she needs to have a problem to tell an interesting story. What is a narrator to do when her main character refuses to cooperate? Panda decides that she must be the narrator’s problem.
When I read the story to my three year old daughter, I found myself chuckling right along with her as Panda becomes more and more of a troublemaker. She plays a banjo - badly. She conjures a jelly bean storm. She invites aliens into her grove who transport her to Antarctica to hang out with penguins. But then, to Panda’s surprise, she has a problem. Can the narrator help her solve it?
One of the many great things about this book is that Underwood uses meta-storytelling to lay out the different parts of a story, making it a great book to read to kids who are learning about the role of the narrator, main characters, and plot. So, while your older children are engaged, your younger children are delighted by Hannah Marks’ joyful illustrations and the silliness of Panda’s boundless imagination. Any book that brings families together in this way is a wonderful addition to home libraries.
The Panda Problem is available everywhere, including Dotters Books, on April 2.
Thanks so much to Dial Books for Young Readers and Penguin Random House for allowing us to be part of this blog tour! Please go and check out the other fantastic blogs and read their thoughts on The Panda Problem.
April 1 – Dotters Daughters Blog – Review
April 2 – Storymamas – Creative
April 3 – Gravity Bread – Review + Language Tips
April 4 – Maistorybook – Creative Instagram Picture
April 5 – Eastern Sunset Reads – Bedtime Stories Series + Creative Instagram Picture
Deborah Underwood has worked as a street musician and at an accounting firm, but for years has been a full-time writer who occasionally plays the ukulele. She is the author of several picture books, including New York Times bestsellers The Quiet Book and Here Comes the Easter Cat, as well as Monster & Mouse Go Camping, Interstellar Cinderella, and Bad Bye Good Bye.
Hannah Marks is a self-taught illustrator and designer, who often gets her best ideas after eating cake. She lives in England with her husband, three children, a bonkers cat, two gerbils, and a teeny-tiny Roborovski hamster. The Panda Problem is her U.S. picture book debut. Find her on Twitter @Hannah_Marks, on Instagram at hannahmarks_, and on Pinterest at hannahemarks.