Chee-Kee: A Panda in Bearland – Sujean Rim

51in21h2ckl Chee-Kee: A Panda in Bearland – Sujean Rim, Little Brown and Company, (9780316407441), 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review)  4

Genre:   Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  When Chee-Kee and his parents immigrate to Bearland, they are welcomed by the other bears but still stand out as different.  Chee-Kee wants to fit in, but there are so many differences.  The illustrations of color pencil and watercolor perfectly convey these differences.  For instance, on a page where the bears are  flying diamond-shaped kites, Chee-Kee flies an Asian-style  box kite.  His parents seem to take everything in stride, but Chee-Kee feels isolated.  Finally, Chee-Kee gets the chance to help a group of bears get their soccer ball down from a tree by using bamboo to make a pole.  The final double page spread shows the Loo family having fun admit the other bears with the line, “Bearland is a great country with very special bears indeed.”  The end pages have an Author’s Note that explains this book was written for her parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Korea.  This is a perfect book for anyone who has every been asked “Where Are You From? or “What are you?” Any child who has felt different will love this story of acceptance.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a perfect book to hand to a child who feels different or who is a new immigrant to the country.  It would make a nice addition to units on immigration, inclusion and kindness.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review: 1/28/17             

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