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Dinner at the Panda Palace
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Dinner at the Panda Palace

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  174 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
When all ten tables at the Panda Palace Restaurant are taken up with primping peacocks, carsick lions and the rest, there still seems to be room for more inthis bright and lively counting book. Full-color illustrations.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 21st 1991 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published March 15th 1991)
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Dinner at the Panda Palace, by Stephanie Calmenson, is the fanciful tale of Mr. Panda and the many and varied guests who arrive at his restaurant for dinner one night. There's one enormously hungry elephant, two royal lions, three pigs hoping to grab a bite while hiding from the big bad wolf, and so on. Each group of diners arrives one at a time wishing to find a table at the Panda Palace. This enchanting book is brimming with captivating and lyrical rhymes which are complemented by clever and w ...more
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dinner at Panda Palace is a numerical list of all the different types of animas that enter into the Panda Palace. The number of animals goes from 1 elephant to 5 bears and 10 peacocks! This is a great story to share with young children to help them learn to count their numbers. The story offers great illustrations of each of the animals as well as provides rhyme and unique characterics of each of the groups of animals such as the proud peacocks! This story is entertaining and educational!
Donna Merritt
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooksk_12
This was one of my favorite books when I taught kindergarten. Stephanie Calmenson's rhyme and rhythm are just right and it makes a marvelous read-aloud, along with a great way to practice counting as each group of customers increases by one. (Pigs need a table for three, monkeys arrive and go "swinging across to their table for five," a bear baseball team requests a table for nine . . .) Nadine Westcott's illustrations are funny and bright and will have little ones smiling from page one. A bonus ...more
Laura Bixler
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Wonderful book with fun and enjoyable illustration. A great tool for teaching counting and animals in the classroom.
Riley Billings
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: el-ed-340
Picture Book.
This was a cute book to emphasize counting as the animal groups kept increasing by one each time. It also, had a good moral of including everyone and not leaving anyone out.
Title: Dinner at the Panda Palace
Author: Stephanie Calmenson
Illustrator: Nadine Bernard Westcott
Genre: Counting Book
Theme(s): Animals, counting, addition, inclusion
Opening line/sentence:
The Panda Palace opened
At six one night.
Brief Book Summary: When Mr. Panda opened the Panda Palace, many guests came for dinner. Each animal, or set of animals that comes in to dine is a different type. First one elephant comes in, then two lions, and each time after that an additional animal comes in (three pi
Chris Shue
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julia Jasztal
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mommy's review from 12/21/11 -

My poor baby was in a rush at her kindergarten library earlier this week and saw 'Dinner' and grabbed it thinking it said 'Dinosaur'. Since 'dinosaur' was one of the first words she could spell I'm assuming she saw the 'd-i-n' and hauled butt to the check out. Never mind the panda on the front...
But, much like her mother, she lucked out with her choice in books because this is actually pretty darn cool. It could be called a counting book but it's a lot more than "j
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Guess who’s coming to dinner!
Join one hungry elephant, two carsick lions, three pigs running from a wolf and dozens of other playful yet famished animals as they swing, bounce into the Panda Palace for a hearty meal.

My Review: What a great and fun way to teach children how to count from 1 – 10 with different animals visiting the Panda Palace. Also teaches and show different type of animals in the animal kingdoms. The rhymes are so adorable that children would ask for the book to be read over and
Mar 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We have really loved books that are illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott (like Down By the Bay and Skip to My Lou.) So we were pleasantly surprised to discover that she also illustrated this book, too. It's a fun counting story and we enjoyed listening to this book read aloud by Russell Horton on audiocassette while we followed along with the book. We got this from the library as a kit, with an audiocassette and a paperback book with ISBN 0694700541 / ISBN13 9780694700547.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The rhyming story of a panda restauranteur that will never turn away a customer and will find a way to accommodate all, this was a cute story and I really think that it's counting aspect is so cleverly blended with the story that children might not even realize that they are practicing some mathematical concepts as they read the story. This story could easily be portrayed with math manipulatives as the children read. Really, this book could get a lot more mileage than it might initially seem.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skylars-shelf
One of my favorite childhood books. This is a wonderful story about the restaurant, The Panda Palace, and teaches great lessons to kids about the importance of inclusion, as well as a fun introduction or review to counting, as each party of diners gets progressively larger. Very well told, extremely well-illustrated, this will always be one of my top favorite children's books.
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book for several reasons: its great illustrations, its clever verse and the predictable, fun way it teaches counting, and the joy of the crowded,chaotic situations in the book. I've read it many times to my own children and also to several classes at our kids' schools when they were young. Beginning readers (kindergarten or first graders) love this book!
Sarah Ziskend
Good for:
-math: teaching "one more" addition
-ELA: rhyming and poems
- good read aloud

As a teacher of mathematics,I would use this book to teach "one more" addition. It is a simple yet engaging children's book that would best be used in a K-1st grade setting. I could have my students practice along adding one more as I read the book aloud.
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for learning to count! Kids can learn their numbers in this pleasant rhyming story. We loved the illustrations and all the things going on with the animals in the background. I can't wait to have "Dinner at the Panda Palace" again soon!
A counting story, like the Napping House. Just don't question restauranteur Panda's decision to seat the pigs next to the lions. The patrons are safe from one another at this cafe, even though the scenes have a Richard-Scarry-esque edge of chaos to them.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this counting book was really cute. My son is very into restaurants, so this was appealing. We've only read it once so far, but I'm planning to make him read it more as we continue to work on number recognition.
Becky B
Panda's restaurant is a popular place for the animals to have dinner. First there's one elephant, then two lions, then three pigs, and so on till the place is packed, but there is always room for one more.

A cute counting story for kids who like animals.
I LOVE THIS BOOK! Favorite childhood book
A recurring favorite for my 5 & 6 year old boys. They love the rhyming & different animals featured in the story. Great illustrations too.
Nov 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: storyhour-books
Supercute book about the opening of Mr. Panda's restaurant and all his animals friends who visit. This was a big hit during storyhour.
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of our favorite childhood books, this sweet story tells about a kind panda who makes room for everyone, complete with bright pictures and rhyming text!
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't judge. I love this book. It was my favorite book as a kid.
Apr 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tessa
Nice story - always room for everyone.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Loved the last page!
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
This book is a classic example of fun. I would relish the chance to have dinner at the Panda Palace :)
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful book with fun illustrations! This was my son's book years ago and I just shared it with his 2 year old daughter. She loves the animals and we count together.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
You can't rhyme two and too. You just can't!
Oct 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, kids
a fun counting book. Goodreads let us discover there's a SECOND Panda Palace book, so now Abby has that on request from the library too!
Maggie Baker
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite picture books ever!
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