Xander's Panda Party

written by Linda Sue Park
illustrated by Matt Phelan

Ages: 0 – 6 years (approximately grades preschool to 1)

Xander the panda wants to throw a party for only pandas. The catch? He is the only panda at the zoo. After some chewing some bamboo, he knows exactly what to do: invite all the bears to come, too! After the invitations go out, the koala bear tells Xander that he isn’t really a bear, but a marsupial, and he wouldn’t want to intrude on the bear party. Feeling silly for making such a mistake, Xander amends his invitation to include all the mammals of the zoo. That is, until the rhinoceros refuses to attend without his bird. This charade carries on until, eventually, all the animals of the zoo (even the humans!) are invited to Xander’s panda party, which happens to fall on the day that a new zoo inhabitant, Zhu Zi, arrives from China…

Written in perfect rhymes, Xander’s Panda Party creatively shows the advantages of being inclusive in a way that is fun and not overbearing. The watercolor illustrations give each zoo animal life, movement and personality that could easily stand alone. However, they work perfectly with the poetic story to create an interesting, light-hearted tale that is great for children between the ages of birth and six years who love animals and the zoo, or who are about to have a birthday party. Park includes an afterward with information on pandas, marsupials, and the rhinoceros/oxpecker bird relationship.

Find Xander’s Panda Party in our catalog.

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