Two Shy Pandas
Written by Julia Jarman
Illustrated by Susan Varley
A sweet rhyming picture book with endearing characters, Two Shy Pandas addresses a common fear for young children: making friends. Two young pandas live next door to one another. Each saw the other out playing by themselves. Each wanted to ask the other to play. Each could not get the courage to approach the other. But each was very aware of the other one especially when Pandora wanted to seesaw or to bounce her ball. Then one day it snowed and Panda made lots of snowballs. He saw that he couldn’t play with snowballs by himself so he tossed one over the fence. But Pandora wasn’t there! He began to worry if she was sick or if she had gone away. After being inside for a while, Pandora worried too that she hadn’t seen Panda. As they worried about each other, they both decided to find out what was going on and bumped into each other. After learning that each panda was still there and not sick, they became the best of friends, playing together long after the snow was gone.
The text is very kid-friendly, having an easy enough reading level that second graders can read it themselves, perhaps making their own audio book as a literacy activity or a book to read to a younger book buddy. It would be a valuable class read aloud as part of a Character Counts unit, touching on most of the pillars of character. Students will be drawn in by the panda characters because they are so likeable and easy to relate to due to both the illustrations and the storytelling.