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Xander's Panda Party

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  748 ratings  ·  169 reviews
Xander planned a panda party. Yes, a dandy whoop-de-do!
But Xander was the only panda. Just one panda at the zoo.

The zoo’s paucity of pandas doesn’t impede Xander’s party planning for long. He decides to invite all the bears. But Koala protests. She’s not a bear—she's a marsupial! Does that mean she can’t come? Xander rethinks his decision to invite only bears, and “Calling
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Clarion Books
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Hi, Koo! by Jon J. MuthDear Panda by Miriam LatimerZen Shorts by Jon J. MuthMrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia PotterXander's Panda Party by Linda Sue Park
Picture Books With Pandas
5th out of 46 books — 7 voters
Perfectly Percy by Paul SchmidA Pet for Petunia by Paul SchmidChildren Make Terrible Pets by Peter  BrownXander's Panda Party by Linda Sue ParkSix-Dinner Sid by Inga Moore
2014 PAWS to Read
4th out of 32 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

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Xander wants to have a panda party, but there's one problem. He's the only panda at the zoo. So he keeps widening his criteria for guests and makes new friends along the way. Then just as the party's about to start, a crate arrives form China. What will be inside?

This is a fairly straightforward story, but enjoyable. The illustrations are great and there's a two-page spread at the end that gives some information on pandas and other animals that could be used by parents or teachers. I didn't agre
This winning author-illustrator duo does not disappoint.

In addition to being a super cute book for family reading, here's why it's great for schools and libraries.

Many concepts are addressed in a way that does not feel didactic. Broccoli disguised as cookies, if you will.

--Xander the panda contemplates his actions and adjusts his plans according to various results.
--Animal classifications are explored
--Careful (not simple) rhyme that will not be too sing-songy for older readers.
--Emotional ran
Don't discount the power of the picture book. This collaboration between two legends, Linda Sue Park and Matt Phelan is a gem. My favorite line, "Amanda Salamander lent a hand to Xander Panda. Xander's party plans went from grand to even grander."

Buying this for every 3-6 year old I know.
Destinee Sutton
The rhymes in this are delectable and the illustrations are so cute! I love it, I love it! And, as Karen pointed out, it may be the best possible read aloud choice when you get to the letter X with preschool story time.
Richie Partington
Richie's Picks: XANDER'S PANDA PARTY by Linda Sue Park and Matt Phelan, ill., Clarion, September 2013, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-547-55865-1

"Then God way up in heaven, for whatever it was worth
Thought he'd have a big old party, thought he'd call it Planet Earth"
-- Bob Weir (1971)

"From her tree Koala hollered, 'Xander, I am not a bear.'
Xander didn't understand her. 'Koala Bear, you're not a
bear?' He stared at her in consternation.
'Sorry for the complication. I know I'm called Koala Bear.
but I am not a
Xander is planning a party just for pandas, but soon realizes that he is the only panda at the zoo. So he changes the invitation to include all sorts of the bears at the zoo. Then Koala is left out because she’s a marsupial, not a bear. Xander chewed some bamboo and thought a bit, then changed the party to be for all mammals at the zoo. After going through several more versions, Xander’s party changed to invite all of the animals at the zoo. It was almost time for the party to start, when a truc ...more
This is how you write and illustrate a picture book people! Excellent rhyming and vocabulary and a funny story. Anyone who's ever tried to throw a party knows it never works out the way you intend, but most of the time things work out the way they're supposed to.
Upon seeing the author's name, I had high expectations, but my initial reaction was disappointment. I'm not a huge fan of the rhyming text, but this is pretty well done, and fits well with the story. I also had concerns that there would be scientific inaccuracies, but those concerns were not founded. Ultimately, I ended up liking this book with its wonderfully strong message of inclusion, and its earnest focus on taxonomic accuracy, including an author's note (still somewhat of a biology nerd, I ...more
Denis Vukosav
‘Xander's Panda Party’ written by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Matt Phelan is a story about a panda that, while working on a list of invitations for his party, together with young readers will learn about the importance of inclusion.

At first, Xanda planned to organize a panda party but since there are no more pandas he will add to the invitation list the other bears and koala. However, that will cause questions and concerns, and soon a guest list will grow more and more until all mammals ar
Xander the Panda is throwing a party, but he keeps changing the theme to make all his guests feel welcome. At first he plans a bear party, then a mammal party, then a mammals and birds party before he finally just invites the whole zoo. Text is lively and rhymes making this a fun read aloud.

An author's note about the author's inspiration for writing this book follows the story and gives readers a few websites and zoos to explore pandas in depth.

Ink and watercolor illustrations. PreK-2.
Clare Rossetter
Xander wants to have a party but he is the only panda at the zoo and when he decides to invite the other bears a problem occurs-the koala is not really a bear but a marsupial. So what is Xander to do? He solves that problem by inviting all mammals. Once again the problem is not solver as rhinoceros won't come without his bird. Xander keeps changing who he will invite and nothing works until Amanda Salamander has a solution. Well written book that introduces many animals to children with differen ...more
Abriana Chamberlain
Xander's Panda Party starts out with Xander wanting to have a party and invites all the bears from the zoo but then finds out that Koala bear isn't actually a bear. So then he invites him, and then all mammals are invited. But then Rhino wants to bring his bird along with him, so then he opens up the list to all mammals and birds. Well soon enough he opens up the invitation to all the animal and other kinds of creature in the zoo to his party. Even the humans come too. It become such a big and f ...more
Kirsten Bailey
We got this for Xander for his first Christmas (for obvious reasons). It's a cute story with a little education thrown in for good measure (a Koala is a marsupial, not a bear!)
The Styling Librarian
Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Matt Phelan – Love this author. Love this illustrator. Put them together? A book I want to share with all my students. It takes a little bit of practice to be comfortable with reading this one aloud. Reminds me of Wild About Books by Judy Sierra and Marc Brown with the rhyming text, rich word choice, and zoo setting. I appreciate this book because of how different classifications of animals are introduced and part of the story. There’s a fan ...more
"Xander planned a panda party. Yes, a dandy whoop-de-do! But Xander was the only panda. Just one panda at the zoo."

Xander can't decide who to invite. First he invites the bears. But then the Koala says he's not a bear. So, then he invites the mammals. But the Rhino won't come without his bird. So, he includes the birds. But what about the reptiles? Finally Amanda Salamander comes up with a solution. "Calling all creatures to a best-of-all festival."

"What a party! What a ball! Lots of new friends
Read for Librarian Book Group
The kind of rhyming prose that inspires glee in me, rather than a chugga-chugga-sing-song thing. Very darling illustrations. I felt for that Panda, man. I've thrown parties. I know how it goes.
Oct 03, 2014 RC rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: zoo
This charming, clever book features beautiful illustrations by Matt Phelan and lilting, rhyming text by Linda Sue Park. This duo has worked together and they succeed once again on delivering a story that both children and adults can enjoy. Xander is trying to plan his birthday party and realizes that be including specific groups of animals, he is excluding others. It is a beautiful story that addresses the nuances of children's emotions and inclusion, while also allowing a discussion on animals ...more
Megan Mandl
Personal Response: I enjoyed seeing how Xander changed his party plan so that it would include all the animals in the zoo. The rhyming made the book flow very well and kept things interesting as the plot thickened. I also liked the unique illustrations and fonts used.

- Ages 4-7
Read Aloud for Enrichment:
- extremely rich vocabulary: perspirations, sensations, consternation, marsupial, fetched, hearty, absurd, congregating, fidgeted
- children can relate to trying to do something but hav
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Xander's Panda Party by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Matt Phelan is a prime example of an excellent picture book for children in preschool to grade 2. Xander is a little panda at the zoo and he wants to throww a party. He wants to throw it for the pandas but he includes all the bears when he realizes he is the only panda. The party continues to grow bigger and bigger, including more and more animals. With an underlining message of inclusion, this picture book is a good book to share with al ...more
Barb Middleton
Gorgeous illustrations and great story about friendship. A must for your library! I think K-2 will particularly like this one.
This is the story of a Panda that wants to have a party at the zoo, but can't decide who he'd like to invite. It's a story that incorporates the repetitive structure that so many picture books use, but it does it very nicely. Eventually, Xander the Panda invites the entire zoo to his party and has great success. The trick here is reading this aloud, as Linda Sue Park must have been reading tongue twisters before she penned this. She made up a particularly challenging bit of verse here, but it's ...more
I appreciated the author's note at the end and my children also found it quite interesting.

Xander the panda wants to invite the bears to a party. But koala bear explains that she isn't actually a bear so she can't come. ...So Xander decides to invite all mammals. But rhino can't come without his bird, so the birds get invited...and so on until finally his party is for everyone at the zoo. And Xander gets an extra special surprise. The illustrations are more whimsical than realistic. They convey
I'll admit that the first few pages had me, not another super-rhymey book! The sing-song kind...there is no other way to read it! page seven, the tone changed and it lost the chanting beat and became interesting and informative. I was hooked.

The story is clever and cute and comes full circle by the end in a satisfactory way. The last pages explain the animal kingdom and wrapped up the story nicely with facts. I highly recommend!

It's shelf-worthy IMHO and the illustrations a
Linda Trott
Matt Phelan's illustrations did not disappoint. They were soft, fluid, lovely. I was, however, disappointed with the rhyme in the story. It seemed to rhyme for rhyme's sake and did not convey the import of the author's research. The book tried to do too much, Xander's efforts to be all inclusive, his loneliness for another Panda, how he resolved any of that party confusion with the joy of a new friend. I was happy to have read Linda Sue Park's book, but found myself wanting to rewrite the verse.
Plenty of word play makes this fun to read aloud. I know some of my Nature Smart kids will protest when Xander Panda plans a bear party and puts Koala on the list - and then feel oh-so-smart when Koala informs Xander of her marsupial status. This book will fit in for a zoo theme, but may also be helpful if those issues of birthday parties and invitations and hurt feelings arise. Xander Panda finds the solution is to invite everyone - and readers will enjoy that this zoo party includes them as we ...more
Stephanie Ward
'Xander's Panda Party' is a completely adorable children's picture book that tells the story of Xander the Panda who wants to throw a party for all the pandas at the zoo. Soon he realizes that he's the only panda, so decides to invite all the bears to the party too. The Koala Bear tells Xander that she's not really a bear but a marsupial and asks if she'll still be welcome at the party. After Xander thinks for awhile, he changes his invitation to include all the furry creatures at the zoo. Each ...more
Xander the Panda wants to throw a Panda Party, but there is only one problem - he is the only panda at the zoo. So he decides to invite all the bears, including the koala (at this point, I got a little worried), but the koala points out that she is not a bear, but a marsupial. Every time Xander passes out invitations, there is something wrong that only can be solved by inviting more guests to the party. At the end, everyone is invited, including humans. And the zoo has a surprise for Xander.

Laura Mcclanahan
Genre= Post-Modern Children's Book

Xander is a panda who wants to celebrate his birthday the way he has always dreamed of doing- with several pandas. However, Xander is the only panda bear in the zoo. So, he decides to invite all bears of the zoo to his party, since there are no other pandas to invite. However, Xander soon finds out that Koala Bear is not really a bear but a marsupial, so Xander extends his invitation to all mammals. But some mammals are very close to the birds they co-exist with
Debbie Tanner
This adorable little picture book should get a prize for most surprising content. When you look at the cover, you think, "Oh, what an adorable little panda... I wonder what kind of silly little adventure is going to unfold." And then it turns out, Linda Sue Park has used the most amazing vocabulary and the best rhyme and rhythm to tell a funny little story that includes animal classification as well as being kind and fitting in! This little book packs a lot in!
Gina Mastrianno
I found this book at the Community Library of the Shenango Valley. This was a cute book to read. I would definitely have this in my classroom! The book showed students that there are bumps in planning things like the party Xander was planning. Stepping back and looking at different ways to look at the situation can help you solve anything. And it is ok to ask for help too! I definitely recommend this book to read to children/students and this will be in my future library in my classroom.
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Linda Sue Park is a Korean American author of children's fiction. Park published her first novel, Seesaw Girl, in 1999. To date, she has written six children’s novels and five picture books for younger readers. Park’s work achieved prominence when she received the prestigious 2002 Newbery Medal for her novel A Single Shard.

More about Linda Sue Park...
Storm Warning (The 39 Clues, #9) A Single Shard A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story Trust No One (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #5) When My Name Was Keoko

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