"When Panda Came to Our House"

When Panda Came to Our House

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: When Panda Came to Our House

Author and Illustrator: Helen Zane Jensen

Publisher: Penguin Group USA Incorporated, republished in 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0803702363

ISBN-10: 0803702361

Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)

Reading level: Ages 4 to 8

Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Jensen, Helen Zane. When Panda Came to Our House (published in 1985 by Dial). When our boys were small and just beginning to read, we liked for them to have books about different countries and cultures. In this one, which we checked out of the library, a giant panda whose eyes shine like stars visits a little American girl to teach her about China and traditional Chinese culture. He shows her many things invented by the Chinese, such as a yo-yo, a wheelbarrow, a fan, and so forth. Also he instructs the child to use chopsticks, to eat tofu, to fly a kite, and to use an abacus. Intricate, full-page black-and-white pencil drawings with intricately patterned borders are accompanied on the facing pages by text which is beautifully set and framed with Chinese characters. At the end Panda leaves, and the final two pages provide a glossary of Chinese terms and definitions to explain the action in the story. It is an imaginative and fascinating book which would make an excellent resource for children from Kindergarten through grade three to accompany a unit about China.

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