By: Julia Jarman
Illustrated by: Susan Varley
Publisher: Andersen Press
Publication Date: January 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 2013
Wide-eyed Panda put his paw against his cheek and leaned against a rock in his yard. It was kind of boring playing hopscotch and pulling his little train all by his lonesome at Number 1 Bamboo Gardens. Panda looked over the fence and saw Pandora tossing her polka dotted ball into the air. There was nothing more than he wanted to do than say, “Hello, Pandora! Please come over and play.” No can do because he was soooo shy. *Sigh.* Over at Number 2 Pandora Gardens, Pandora sat on her seesaw with her bunny stuffie on the other end. It was kind of boring playing all by herself.
Pandora bounced her ball, pushed her car around, and even discovered that walking around on her cup stilts wasn’t any fun. All of a sudden she spotted Panda looking at her over the fence and ZOOOOM! Off she went to hide in the hamper because she was “too shy to say hello.” When winter came, Panda made piles of snowballs, but he couldn’t shoot them at himself. “I need a friend,” he thought, “You can’t play with this one.” He tossed one over the fence, but when he looked, no Pandora. Where did she go? Was there something wrong? Pandora was inside wearing her worried face. “I haven’t seen Panda for ages. What if he’s got the flu?” How could the two shy pandas find out if the other one was OK?
This is an adorably charming story of two little shy pandas who discover friendship. Children, like Panda and Pandora, are often painfully shy. They want to make friends, but even if they see someone they might want to play with, their shyness gets in the way. The whimsical artwork captures these two wannabe friends as they peek at each other, hoping that somehow they can get over their shyness. The little twist at the end is heartwarming and of course any youngster who wants to have a “forever and ever” friend will love it. This is a captivating tale that all young children will adore, especially shy ones!
Quill says: This is an endearing tale of two little pandas that young children will adore!