Saturday, March 07, 2009


I picked up a great new book at Cover to Cover last week called HOW MANY BABY PANDAS? by Sandra Markle.    You can never have enough nonfiction books about animals and this one is one that kids can enter at so many levels--there is so much about it that is wonderful!

First of all, it can be read as a counting book.  Counting from 1-8, we watch the phases of a baby panda's first year.  On the left side of each page is a gorgeous photo of a panda (or pandas) at some  point in that first year. The number of pandas is in red with the word version of the number underneath.  The page then has a question like "How may pandas are taking a nap?"  With that photo and small amount of text, readers can learn a bit about pandas.

On the right side of the page, more photos and more information is given about pandas.   These paragraph blurbs are perfect for readers--lots of information but not too much. 

There are also added boxes with extra information throughout the book.

The final question in the book is the critical one: How many pandas live wild and free?
The answer: Not enough.

The last few pages go on to explain the problems for pandas and what are being done about them

Extra trivia, a glossary, a map, author's note and great websites for more research are added at the end of the book.

This book has everything you could want in a nonfiction book and who doesn't love a panda?  Kids of all ages will love this book.  I can see using it in lots of ways--for leisure nonfiction reading, to use as a mentor text as a model for nonfiction writing, and more.

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