cover image Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten

Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten

Candice Ransom, illus. by Christine Grove. Doubleday, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-55455-1

In a humorous take on first-day snafus, Amanda Panda expects to excel in kindergarten, but Bitsy, a gregarious classmate dressed in “so much pink it gives Amanda a headache,” rubs her the wrong way. Even though Bitsy just wants to be BFFs, “Amanda Panda does not feel like being kind.” Quitting kindergarten, she slips into her brother’s second-grade class, but after Bitsy tracks her down there (and then promptly freaks out), Amanda confidently guides her back to their classroom, paving the way for a new friendship. Using splashes of warm color and with fine detailing, Grove creates an energetic cast of roly-poly pandas who exude style in their wardrobe choices. Ransom (Rebel McKenzie) sensitively addresses the challenges of handling expectations in new circumstances, as well as the roundabout path to friendship. Ages 3–7. [em]Author’s agent: Victoria Wells Arms, Wells Arms Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Maggie Byer-Sprinzeles, Byer-Sprinzeles Agency. (June) [/em]