Pandas’ Earthquake Escape

Phyllis J. Perry
Illustrated by Susan Detwiler

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Every child loves pandas. In this fictional story, the author draws on that love by following a mother and cub in the aftermath of the 2008 devastating earthquake in Eastern Sichuan, China. Tengfei, the cub, and Liling, his mother, are residents of the heavily damaged Wolong Panda Reserve. The reader sees the confusion and fright any animal would suffer as a result of being displaced and alone. This empathetic approach allows the reader to learn while enjoying the story.

Tengfei and Liling are briefly separated from each other. When they are reunited, they are outside the comfortable reserve and begin to wander. Giant pandas eat only bamboo shoots, which the pair is unable to locate in the unfamiliar surroundings. By the time the reserve workers locate them, the pandas are hungry and thirsty, but still wary of the men. In this way, readers are reminded that giant pandas are wild animals. The language is appropriate and should help further reading skills.

The extensive and well-researched “For Creative Minds” section provides many facts and resources appropriate for second graders. For two pages, readers learn about giant pandas and what it means to be endangered. This is followed by facts about earthquakes and locations of the most destructive quakes and a two-page map of earthquake zones. For the inquisitive, a link to more information is provided.

Illustrations are accurate for general anatomy and habitat, so readers are informed as well as entertained by the images. Lovely images transport the reader to the mountains of China, showing the terrain, plant life, and birds.

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  • Pandas Earthquake EscapeBIBLIO: 2010, Sylvan Dell Publishing, 32 pages, Nature, Science, and Environmental.
  • REVIEWER: Sue Poduska
  • ISBN: 978-1-607180-821

Book page on Sylvan Dell Publisher’s website.

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