Saving Pandas, by Dr Carla Litchfield

Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are massive bears, just like black bears, polar bears and brown bears. They share the same habitat as red pandas, but are not closely related to them. Surprisingly little is known about the behaviour of giant pandas in the wild – except that they spend about 12 hours a day eating bamboo!

Saving Pandas is a new addition to the non fiction series of picture books from Black Dog Books. The books are large format paperbacks, with beautiful photos of animals and their habitats. Extra info bites extend the non fiction narrative and are displayed in different fonts. Words that might be unfamiliar are in bold and a glossary at the back gives their meaning. The final page also provides extra ‘panda facts’ and website addresses. Saving Pandas is full of photos of young and mature pandas. Red pandas might share the name and a similar habitat, but are not closely related to Giant pandas.

Giant pandas look cute and cuddly but with her opening words, Dr Litchfield reminds us that they are also enormous and well…they are bears! Few people would want to cuddle a big black bear, but there’s something about pandas that makes them seem cuddle-able. Despite the size. Despite the claws. This new series ‘Rare Earth’ from Black Dog Books looks at endangered animals and the programs in place to help them survive. Some readers may only respond to the cuteness of these giants, but for others, it’s an introduction to the world of animal conservation. Pitched for lower- to middle-primary aged readers, the language is simple but informative and perfect for lovers of animals and of non-fiction.

Saving Pandas (Rare Earth)

Saving Pandas (Rare Earth) Dr Carla Litchfield
Black Dog Books 2010
ISBN 9781742031149

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

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