In this book, we find mother and child panda bears, Liling and Tengfei. As they’re sleeping, they noticed that they’re tree is rocking. Frightened and confused by what is going on, they begin to run in an attempt to find safety. As the earthquake continues to move their world, they finally find a cave that offers them a bit of safety. Once things have calmed, they try to find their way back to the reserve, only to find that they are lost. Will they be saved and returned home before hunger and fear consume them?
Illustrations in this book are elegant and beautiful. Each page is realistically drawn with a strong element to detail. Susan Detwiler, the illustrator, definitely has a gift for giving serenity to both creatures and humans. Even amidst the frightening center of the earthquake, the pandas appear quiet and beautiful.
The story is definitely written for older children, probably from ages 7-9. Each page boasts a large, in-depth paragraph. Though it’s not difficult to read or comprehend and none of the words are difficult to pronounce, there’s a lot of material per page for a younger child. I think older children will be enthralled with the story. It’s thrilling without having too much terror added. Though we know the pandas are in danger, it’s not scary. They’re lost and confused, but at no point do we actually feel their fear. It’s more the feeling of confusion that comes across.
At the end of this book we have an educational section. As a parent, I so love this! Here we find information about endangered giant pandas, the life cycle of the giant panda, information regarding earthquakes and the richter scale, as well as a gorgeous map depicting where the largest earthquakes have occurred.
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