Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? Amanda is a little panda who loves the color brown, can run fast downhill and wants to be a school bus driver. She cannot wait for her first day of kindergarten. But things seem to go wrong right away. Her older brother runs ahead of her to join his friends and another panda dressed in “so much pink it gives Amanda a headache” attaches herself to Amanda. This girl is named Bitsy and she seems to spoil all of Amanda’s hopes for school. Bitsy writes her name so big on the blackboard that there is only a tiny space left for Amanda, she builds a better block tower and even causes Amanda to trip and lose a downhill race at recess. But when Amanda decides to quit kindergarten and join 2nd grade with her brother, Bitsy becomes lost while trying to find her. Amanda takes charge and leads them both back to kindergarten where she decides that the two can be friends after all. The watercolor illustrations are full of details and really bring the story and characters to life. This is a nice addition to first day of school stories.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? This is sure to be a popular back to school selection. It is a reassuring tale about kindness and making new friends.
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: 7/30/17