105 Ways to Give a Book

Tracks of a Panda

Have you ever continued to look for something after you’ve found it? This happens to me a lot. Like I’ll have to replace a white shirt because it’s stained, or dated, or... ahem, tight. When I’m shopping, I’ll be looking for a replacement. But after I find a new white shirt, I keep noticing white shirts because I used to be looking for one. Not only can I not reset my search mode, I end up with three new white shirts because in continuing to look for one, I’ve found two more that I can’t live without.

It happens with books, too. I used to look for panda books for my younger daughter, who was fond of the animal. Now she’s moved on, but I have not. I keep noticing books about pandas. So even though I had a panda book recently for Nonfiction Monday, you’re going to have to hear about another one.

Tracks of a PandaTracks of a Panda, by Nick Dowson, came out in 2007, but I ran across it again recently. Intended for younger readers, the text is sparing and sweet with the sentences arranged in verse style. The story follows a mother and baby panda, starting with the animal as “small as a pine cone, pink as a blob of wriggling sunset.” (Perhaps Dowson was unaware of the standard description of “size and weight of a stick of butter.”) As the baby grows, the pair travels the mountain forests in search for more food, facing danger along the way. Facts about pandas are incorporated into the story and are explained in short captions. The illustrations of Yu Rong deserve particular notice for their gentle beauty. The watercolors are soft and evocative, with an Asian sensibility. Pages of the book are positively framable.

Nonfiction Monday round-up is hosted today at Wild About Nature, where you are sure to find books about something other than pandas.

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