Caroline Arnold's Books

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A Panda's World A Panda's World

In a den high in the mountains of China, a baby giant panda is born. Tiny at first, the black and white animal quickly grows. Soon it will join its mother as she searches for bamboo in the forest. Follow this plant eater through his second winter as he learns to live on his own.

This picture book follows a baby panda from birth to life on its own in its natural habitat in the mountains of China. This book can be read aloud to younger children or an older child can read it alone.A readable and lively text provides a close-up look at these rare black and white mammals in this "anything but black and white" book. Cut paper illustrations help tell the tales of these amazing animals and the world in which they live.

Sidebars on each page spread expand information in the text. Back matter includes a map of where pandas live, fun facts, further reading, a glossary and index, and a guide to websites appropriate for the age group.

Why are pandas endangered? Every year the number of pandas grows smaller due to destruction of their habitat, accidental deaths in traps set for other animals, and illegal hunting. Because of their size, pandas have few natural enemies except for humans. Despite laws to protect pandas and efforts to preserve their habitat, their plight continues to worsen.

How are people helping pandas? Scientists are studying pandas both in zoos and in the wild so they can learn more about what pandas need to live. In the past century, as the Chinese population has grown, people have cut down many of the forests where pandas live to build farms and villages. The mountain tops where pandas live are now like bamboo islands in a sea of developed land. By planting bands of bamboo to connect these isolated forests, scientists are trying to make it easier for the pandas to move between them and find enough food.

Zoos where you can see giant pandas are in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; San Diego, California; Paris, France; Berlin, Germany; Tokyo, Japan; Mexico City, Mexico; Beijing, Chengdu, Ninjing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Woolong, China.

To purchase a fine art print or card of one of the illustrations from A Panda's World, go to

To see a preview of the book, click here .

Prizes and Awards
  • AAAS, Science Books and Films, Best Books 2006
  • Learning Magazine, Teachers' Choice Awards for Children's Books, 2009
  • Children's Projects

      Make a Paper Plate Panda. A Panda's World

      Read A Panda's World. For this project you will need a white paper plate, cotton balls, black and white tissue paper. Glue cotton balls to the paper plate for the panda's furry face. Crumple white tissue paper for the panda's snout and glue on. Crumple black paper for the ears and eye rings and mouth and glue on. Use small cotton balls for the center of the eyes.

    Panda Coloring Page A Panda's World

    What would it be like to live in a bamboo forest? Click here for a printable picture of a panda.

    Related Books
  • A Penguin's World
  • A Killer Whale's World
  • A Zebra's World
  • Reviews
    Science Books and Films, July 30, 2006

    A Panda's World is an outstanding book for young readers. The book presents a great deal of information on pandas in a most straightforward way. Many youngsters are taken with pandas because they are cute and are on display at several big-city zoos. Since pandas come from just a few remote regions of China, there is a certain mystery associated with them, so youngsters generally are eager to read about them. Pandas live in the mountain forests of Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi provinces of China. Their diet is pretty much limited to bamboo. When born, they weigh about 4 ounces and are roughly the size of a stick of butter. By 6 weeks the baby panda weighs 6 pounds, and by 12 weeks the panda weighs 13 pounds and already has the characteristic back-and-white fur pattern. A six-month-old panda still depends on its mother for milk, but can climb trees and chew on leaves. A year and a half after the birth, the panda's mother leaves, and from then on the baby must fend for itself. The book describes some of the important events in the first 18 months of a panda's life, using compelling writing style and creative illustrations. Accompanying the text are a list of interesting facts about pandas, a glossary of terms used, the titles of several additional books to read about pandas, and a URL of a Web site that is safe for children. Young readers of this engaging book surely will want to learn more about pandas and their natural environment. Perhaps parents and teachers will be in a position to use pandas as an example of an endangered species, so that readers will better understand how fragile an environment we all live in. I recommend this book for school, public, and home libraries. Best Books for Children 2006 July 30, 2006

    School Library Journal - Suzanne Myers Harold

    These titles trace the lives of four animals from birth to maturity. Each book reads like a story with scientific details woven into the narrative. Events described are typical and not overtly fictionalized. For example, while the panda cub waits for his mother to return with food, he watches a squirrel, two takin, and a golden pheasant. Each book begins with a few facts about the animal and concludes with a location map and a list of "fun facts." Small text boxes provide additional information without interrupting the narrative flow. Other animals common to each habitat are shown and labeled. The large, cut-paper illustrations are generally successful; occassionally, they appear awkward and flat (particularly the image of the mother panda holding her newborn). For Web sites, the readers are directed to the FactHound site with a 10-digit code to enter. A list of sites then appears, but not are all specifically related (the code for pandas brings up sites about mammals, including the American bison and beavers). These titles work well as read-alouds and provide enough factual information for simple reports. June 1, 2006

    Library Media Connection, November/December 2006

    The first page in each of Caroline Arnold's Animals series begins with basic facts about the featured animal including where the animal lives, habitat, food, animal class, and scientific name. Beginning with a mother awaiting the birth of her young, each book tells about the baby and each stage of development until the baby is grown and able to be on its own. Vibrant whole-page cut-paper illustrations will fascinate young readers as they learn about the animals in A Killer Whale's World, A Zebra's World, A Penguin's World, and A Panda's World. Additional facts are given in sidebars with more information on each animal's growth, habitat, and unique characteristics. There is a map at the end of the book showing where the animal lives, as well as an index and glossary. Internet sites are listed for more information. This series would be wonderful for beginning research projects, as well as popular titles for young readers to explore. Recommended.

    Gillian Engberg, Booklist

    The Caroline Arnold's Animals series features striking paper collages, clear text, and a picture-book format.