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Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild
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Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Roughly a thousand years ago, an estimated 23,000 pandas roamed wild and free through their native China. But within the past forty years, more than fifty percent of the panda’s already shrinking habitat has been destroyed by humans, leaving the beautiful and beloved giant panda vulnerable to extinction. Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds—poaching, habitat destructi ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  121 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Abby Johnson
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book, written by the award-winning author Catherine Thimmesh - describes attempts to save giant pandas by breeding them in captivity and introducing cubs to the wild. I appreciate that the book first describes a failed attempt and the challenges that China's program has faced and it addresses what they learned from their first failure and how they turned that into a successful program. Kids who are interested in the environment and endangered animals will enjoy this one, especially if they ...more
This definitely deserved the Sibert! The photos are lovely and completely accessible to a child's interest span. It is about a perennial kid interest, the adorable black and white panda. The text is at the perfect level: informative, age appropriate with absolutely no condescension. The text is fascinating. It explains thoroughly the additional benefits to other species that helping pandas return to the wild will have, both as an umbrella species (helps other species in the same geographical are ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it

First sentence: Lumbering down the grassy mountainside in southwestern China--being careful not to slip--is a giant panda teddy bear.

Premise/plot: This one is subtitled: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild. The book is a cautious celebration of a new re-introduction program in China. It's a program designed to reintroduce giant pandas back into the wild--giant pandas born in captivity. The idea is that humans have largely contributed to the plight of the giant panda--both directly, indirectly. It is
Amy Pickett
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
3.5 stars. An informative, quick read about efforts to reintroduce pandas to the wild in parts of China. The photographs are definitely the star of the show! Well-paced and interesting.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kids will pick this up for the cover picture, and the easily accessible text will be a draw for the middle school kids. For my full review, visit
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Giant Panda, a proud flagship animal from the mountains of China, has experienced such devastating loss of habitat since the 1950’s that by 1990 they were declared an endangered species. In the early 2000’s attempts were underway to reintroduce cubs born in captivity back into the wild in order to keep the population healthy. Reintroduction along with other conservation techniques such as habitat restoration, education and studies of local human populations, and protection from poaching have ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Thimmesh, Catherine Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild, 60 pages. NON-FICTION Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018. $18. Content: G.

Human encroachment is the main cause for Giant Pandas growing extinct. This book explains what scientists are doing to help increase the panda population as well as their environments which will help other endangered species. The book explains reintroduction training that the scientists implement on the pandas and the ways that they try to take human interactio
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
The habitat where pandas live has been drastically reduced due to human interference and as a result the panda population has been brought to the brink of extinction. Scientists have been working hard to prevent this. They have developed a special "panda camp" to breed and train panda cubs to survive in the wild. Full color photos, what you can do to help, glossary, sources, intro to the experts talked about throughout the book. Seriously, scientists dressed in panda costumes is pretty darn cute ...more
Allison Parker
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, nonfiction
So, apparently, in China, there are currently researchers who DRESS THEMSELVES IN GIANT PANDA COSTUMES to interact with captivity-born panda cubs to limit the little ones' exposure to humans, and increase their chances of survival in the wild. Thankfully, we have crazy adorable images of this in CAMP PANDA, a nonfiction book for kids, along with a history of the panda's endangerment and recent conservation efforts. A big science takeaway: sometimes, the experts have to try things out and tweak t ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Holy cuteness! Of course I knew that pandas have been on the endangered list, and I supposed that scientists in China were probably working very hard to stop their extinction and even to increase their numbers in the wild. I probably would have guessed that reintroducing them into the wild was part of the program. But I had no idea just how difficult a task that is, due to the pandas' general roly-poly easy going-ness, as well as their unique biological challenges. I also did not know that biolo ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely book with photographs of various species that are endangered and/or bordering on extinction. Although the main thrust is explanation of the plan to rescue the pandas, it also explains that in helping them, other animals under the panda's umbrella (i.e. those who exist in the panda's territory) are also helped. It was interesting to realize that many people don't take an interest in endangered species because they know nothing about them and that Pandas, tigers and polar bears have becom ...more
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great example of mid-grade level nonfiction, kids in 3-5. When I shared with a 4th grader he immediately wanted to check it out. The subject is interesting, giant pandas are popular animals, plenty of pictures, humans in panda costumes are a funny hook, and the sentence structure and vocabulary is not too complex. The page count is just right. The authors also emphasize and repeat the most important points in different ways helping to make the overall premise clear - humans have changed the pand ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not only informative, but my word, the humans in panda suits holding a panda cub? Fantastic....and kind of creepy. But apparently it's a fairly successful way to get the pandas reintroduced to the wild. Who knew?!?
Sunday Cummins
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Would you be willing to wear a hot, stinky panda suit to save this species?
Sibert Honor Award 2019
LOVED this book. So easy to read. So much potential for classroom use in grades 3-6.

Suggestions for classroom use—

I’d book talk this and leave in the classroom library for students to snatch up. Suggestions for how to booktalk:
• Ask a series of questions (like the one that leads into this review) to pique student interest.
• Post photos from the book – using a document camera and ask students to make
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
2019 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
A detailed look at the ever evolving, innovative program of reintroducing of pandas back
Into the wild. The need to have no human interaction or dependence, puts scientists and researchers into panda costumes treated with panda poop and urine whenever they need to do medical exams or transport the Cubs. Thus confronted by humans without costumes triggers proper warnings and danger alerts.
Excellent photograph combines with informative text to provide accurate info
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am all for introducing kids to vocabulary words, but this was written at such a high level that I don't know if my 3rd graders could get through it.

And the layout could be distracting ... on one spread, I saw large sans-serif type for the chapter's first paragraph, average serif type for the rest of the text, italicized serif type for an expert's quote (WHY?), and small bold sans-serif for a caption. The sidebars have yet another font.

The information itself was somewhat interesting - I did a
Jill Young
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
2019 Sibert Honor Award. I’d probably rate it a 3.5, if I could. Informative but for some reason I became restless, bored, and just wanted to finish it. I was shocked at the loss of habitat due to population growth and increase in infrastructure. I applaud Chinese researchers for attempting to help the pandas. It will be interesting to see over time if it works considering China’s push for economic supremacy in the world.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
With beautiful photographs and engaging text, Thimmesh carefully explains the panda's plight and the work that has been done and continues to be done to save pandas. Thimmesh explains why pandas became endangered and carefully outlines the steps taken to reintroduce cubs from captivity into the wild.
Erin Buhr
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-nonfiction
This is a lengthier book for the child who is truly panda obsessed - but it is an interesting look at the work being done to rebuild the panda population. Beautifully photographed and richly detailed, this book explains the efforts in China to reintroduce pandas to the wild. 
Rebecca Honeycutt
Scientists in panda suits!
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, non-fiction, animals
This was longer than I expected, but it was full of great info and fun pics.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
4-5th grade.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, nature
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-beehive
JOB OPENING... you too can get paid to dress up in a panda costume, smear yourself in Panda scent (pee and poo) and you get to hold pandas.

This is a great book! Not only is it about cute panda bears, it is about conservation and extinction.
I learned a lot from this book!!

Very informative!
rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2019
rated it really liked it
Apr 29, 2018
Mandy Kelsey
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2018
Jessica Howard
Crossover: Science-habitats/animals
Interactive strategy: Venn-diagram compare and contrast pandas fiction vs. nonfiction

My non-fiction text I chose was, Camp Panda; Helping Cubs Return to the Wild. I would compare this text to 2 fictional texts by the same author Steve Antony, I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda, and Thank You, Mr. Panda. With these books we would compare and contrast pandas in fiction versus non-fiction. I would use a compare and contrast venn-diagram to compare similarities and differences.
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