cover image The Year of the Panda

The Year of the Panda

Miriam Schlein. Crowell, $13 (83pp) ISBN 978-0-690-04864-3

Lu Yi and his father are collecting firewood on the mountainside when they discover a baby daxiong mao (giant panda) whose mother has been killed. Lu Yi plans to raise the panda, Su Lin, until it can protect itself. While he is caring for the animal, a messenger from the Chinese government visits Lu Yi's town. He explains that the giant panda is an endangered species, and that the townspeople and the government must work together to help it survive. When Lu Yi learns that the panda will starve if set free because the bamboo on the mountainside is dying off, he reluctantly tells the man about Su Lin. Together they bring the panda to a rescue center where Lu Yi learns how the species is being protected. The clear, concise narrative makes it clear that decisions about how to save the panda are not always straightforward. Brief yet thought-provoking, this sensitively written novel is enhanced by Mak's stirring pencil drawings. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)