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When I Draw a Panda

Illustrated by Amy June Bates
LIST PRICE $23.99
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“This amusing picture book encourages imagination and individuality.” —Booklist

From the acclaimed author and illustrator of The Big Umbrella comes a delightful celebration of creativity and gumption about a girl and her panda that’s Calvin and Hobbes meets If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!

Sometimes when they say to draw a perfect circle, mine turn out a little wonky.
I can draw a perfect fluffy cloud, a perfect scoop of ice cream, and a perfect flat tire.
So when I draw a panda, I keep drawing more and more not-perfect circles until I see a panda.
Then I step back and think, Does it need something else? He probably needs a hat, and then he is my panda.

When a girl draws a panda, it comes to life and helps her embrace her own creativity and unique way of seeing the world.

Provided by the author

Amy June Bates has illustrated books including the Sam the Man series; Sweet Dreams and That’s What I’d Do, both by singer-songwriter Jewel; and Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan. She is the author-illustrator of The Big Umbrella, which Booklist raved, “A boundlessly inclusive spirit...This open-ended picture book creates a natural springboard for discussion.” She lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, with her husband and three children.

Provided by the author

Amy June Bates has illustrated books including the Sam the Man series; Sweet Dreams and That’s What I’d Do, both by singer-songwriter Jewel; and Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan. She is the author-illustrator of The Big Umbrella, which Booklist raved, “A boundlessly inclusive spirit...This open-ended picture book creates a natural springboard for discussion.” She lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, with her husband and three children.

A girl narrates as she draws on a chalkboard wall in her room. She admits that when people tell her to make a perfect circle, it comes out “a little wonky.” And so, when drawing a panda, she scrawls masses of imperfect, overlapping loops until an undeniably panda-like figure emerges. Like Blackboard Bear in Martha Alexander’s long-running picture-book series, Panda steps down from the chalkboard and enters the child’s world. He becomes her ally in creative rebellion: “If they tell him to draw something pretty, he draws something pretty silly.” His playful spirit frees her to draw more intuitively. While the front endpapers offer step-by-step instructions for eight “perfect” drawing projects, such as “the perfect circle” and “the perfect panda,” the back endpapers feature the same projects overlaid with the girl’s drawings. Written in a conversational tone, the narrative captures the child's satisfaction in making art her own way. The illustrations, created with colored pencil, watercolor, gouache, and pastel, express the spirit of the story beautifully. This amusing picture book encourages imagination and individuality.

– Booklist, September 1, 2020

More books from this author: Amy June Bates