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Xander's Panda Party
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Xander's Panda Party

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,233 Ratings  ·  221 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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Rating details
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Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What's one more at the party? As they say, the more the merrier! Xander starts off with a plan to have a panda party but soon realizes he is the only panda at the zoo. What to do? Why not ask some other zoo friends? Soon all at the zoo are a part of Xander's party. Great illustrations and a good introduction to animal classifications for a younger audience.
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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.
Destinee Sutton
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Barb Middleton
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous illustrations and great story about friendship. A must for your library! I think K-2 will particularly like this one.
Richie Partington
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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
Sep 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
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
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so fun. It rhymes, but without the standard cadences normally found in children’s books. Plus, the vocabulary building in this book is just awesome. I always remember books that are not afraid to mix the big words with the usual sort found in picture books. This book gets an A+ from me, and now I too want to join the Panda Party.

#beatthebacklist #hermione 2017
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
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!)
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: story-time, it-rhymes
Xander Panda parties hardy. He's so cool, he's the exception to the rule. What rule? I didn't really think out these rhymes, sorry...
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
A rhyming story about a panda who is planning a party with an ever-changing guest list. Pretty watercolor illustrations and lots of drama. Good story about being more inclusive. Extra non-fiction information at the end. Recommended for Grades 2-4.
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
Xander Panda is planning a panda party, but then realizes he is the only panda at the zoo. He then changes it to a bear party, then a mammal party, then a mammal & bird party, and goes on and on until it ends up being a party for every animal in the zoo. After stressing over the bash for quite some time, a surprise comes. Just before the party, a crate arrives with another panda, Zhu Zi. The animals of the zoo have a great big party (humans included) celebrating new friendships. This charmin ...more
Stephanie Ward
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
'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
Laura Mcclanahan
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 544
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
My favorite part of this book would be the illustrations--especially of all he various animals. The rhyming was ok. A little jerky on occasion but overall fine. The story is cute. I may consider for preschool storytime.

2014-2015 Beehive nominee

One of those stars is solely for the illustrations.

2/11/15 Closing book for Zoo Part 2 theme. It went well. It wasn't great. I still blame that on the huge crowd of newcomers that I got who by that time were so all over the place that there was no why I c
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.

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
Chandler Hefter
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever had difficulty throwing a party? Linda Sue Park tells readers the story of Xander the Panda's quest to throw the perfect panda party. Through her catchy rhyming text and visually pleasing graphics, the reader is hooked from the start. Xander the Panda is lonely being the only panda at the zoo and wants to throw a party, but as he learns more and more about all his fellow animals at the zoo he encounters difficulty with who to invite. Finally, when Xander the Panda decides to includ ...more
Abriana Chamberlain
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
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

Phelan's illustrations are fantastic. Love the expressions of the animals -- body language of the koala limp on the branch of the tree, furrowed brow of the rhinoceros with the bird on his horn, the perplexed panda with each additional demand for inclusion until it includes all the animals in the zoo. The two page wordless spread of Xander delivering the invitations is delightful -- sitting atop the elephant's trunk, balancing on one leg like the flamingos, surrounded by prairie dogs popping out
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
"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
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pic-bks, preschool
Xander Panda is planning a party—a party just for pandas. But the problem is that he is the only panda in the zoo. After a lot of thinking and bamboo munching, he decides to expand the guest list—and he hands out invitations to all bears—the black bear, the brown bear, the polar bears, the grizzly, and the koala bear. “But wait!” calls out Koala. “I am not a bear! Can I still come?” More thinking and more chewing—and Xander decides to open up the party to all mammals. But Rhinoceros sends a repl ...more
Megan Mandl
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
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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

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