Panda Pants and Meeting Authors
Panda Pants by Jacqueline Davies and illustrated by Sydney Hanson (published September 2016)
How can I go to an author visit and NOT review their book? It’s impossible, especially when Little Lion Bookworm was asked by our school librarian to introduce Jacqueline Davies when she came to visit her school a few weeks ago. Let me tell you something about Little Lion—she’s quirky, she’s imaginative and like any other wild cat, she can be very, very loud. But, also like a lion, she can be very quiet. Much like her sister, when she is at school among some of the more vocal kids, she is less interactive.
So when Mrs. M asked if LL would like to have the honor of introducing Jacqueline Davies, she jumped at the chance. And though she was nervous, she did it! And Ms. Davies was very kind and encouraging. And more than that, her talk was engaging and inspiring for all the preK-1st grade kids in the audience. (And for us grown-ups as well!)
An excerpt from LL’s intro to Jacqueline Davies: “Panda Pants is about a panda who wants to wear pants and his daddy says NO!” Well, that pretty much is the premise of the story. Because as most of you know, when you tell a child 'no' (even a panda child), that's not the end of the story. Panda and his daddy have a conversation about why pandas should or should not wear pants. It makes me think of all the parents I meet who have trouble keeping pants on their kids. We have a lot of exhibitionist toddlers here in SoCal.
Panda Pants showcases the classic push and pull between a parent and a child. As they counter back and forth, a stealthy animal can be seen following them along the way. I love the questions and answers, my only wish is (spoiler alert!) that they had made friends with the snow leopard rather than chasing it away. That would have been more of a surprise to me. Despite my editorial disagreement, the book is a wonderful read-aloud and the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.
Bonus: Jacqueline Davies has some fun projects relating to her books on her website! Little Lion brought a paper doll panda to her introduction. There are various outfits you can cut out and dress the panda in or you can make your own. LL made her panda in (coincidentally) snow leopard pants and tiger-striped shirt. I would post a picture, but LL was so delighted with Ms. Davies that she gave her the little panda after the presentation. I was secretly delighted, and thank you, Jacqueline Davies, for being so gracious about accepting my bookworm girl’s gift.
Rating: It’s a cute concept and the pictures are beautiful. Middle shelf.
Little Lion Bookworm Review: (spoiler alert) Buy it! It's a very funny book. My favorite part is the ending where the panda wants shoes instead of pants. Little Lion wants the next book to be about shoes.
Sidenote: Do you remember the first time you met an author who you admired? I’ve met Sherman Alexie. That’s right, I’ve met one of my favorite writers! I went to a book/poetry reading when I was a grad student at SFSU and Alexie patiently signed all my books that I had.
And, confession: next month there is a a book signing with Stephenie Meyer along with Rainbow Rowell in Arizona. If I could make it happen, I would. (Yes, I'm a Twilight fan. I have a range of interests, plus the series helped me through the hardest time in my life.)
Now if only I could meet John Steinbeck, Jane Austen or Toni Morrison (more reasonable since she IS still alive). Or Sandra Cisneros. These authors books have shaped my way of thinking in so many (different) ways that it would be such an honor.
Which author would you LOVE to meet?
Below is a video of Little Lion Bookworm doing a read-along of Panda Pants.