4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Panda-emic Story by Alexandra Allred is a children’s picture book about what happens when a sick panda comes to the zoo. First, just one panda isn’t feeling well, but the sickness quickly spreads throughout the zoo. Some of the animals come together to help the sick ones. Others scorn the pandas and blame them for getting everyone sick. Many of the birds believe they can’t get sick because they are different from the other animals and can fly. When the zookeepers begin falling ill, the animals must decide whether or not to band together, which sometimes means choosing to stay apart.
I really appreciated the way this author was able to convey the story of the pandemic in a kid-friendly manner. Allred uses cute illustrations and simple vocabulary to convey complex themes and ideas. She shows how kindness is especially important in dark times and how we shouldn’t blame those who harm others without meaning to. There is a short section at the end of the book explaining what “endangered animals” and “caregivers” are. My only complaint about this book is that I think the author should have expanded this section to include information about social distancing, how viruses can affect anyone, and the other more complex themes explored in the story.
The illustrations in this story also contributed to its lovable, kid-friendly nature. Kerri Beckman has depicted all of the animals as line drawings with cute cartoon faces. I think these drawings will help kids see how these animals are much like we are. Making the animals relatable should help kids understand that the lessons in the book apply to our own lives as well.
Overall, I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Although I wanted the end notes to be longer, I couldn’t justify taking away a star for that small flaw. Between the great writing and adorable illustrations, I couldn’t find any mistakes in this book, so I’m happy to give it the highest score.
I would recommend this book to parents of kids ages four to eight. I think it would be best for parents to read this book with their kids so that they can explain how it relates to our situation today. I can imagine that many parents will be using books like this to explain to their children what the pandemic was and how we handled it for years to come.
The Panda-emic Story
View: on Bookshelves