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Mrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter
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Mrs. Harkness and the Panda

by Alicia Potter, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
As always, Melissa Sweet has created the most perfect illustrations for this picture book biography. Her mixed media collage style is the perfect accompaniment to this 1930s story of Ruth Harkness and her quest to bring the first panda to America.

The idea of capturing and bringing a baby panda to a zoo is one that is not embraced by people today, but in the 1930s it was acceptable, and it was the only way that people could study rare species. Ruth Harkness has been praised by many conservationists for her contribution to zoology.

This is a wonderful biography that depicts the courage and determination of Ruth Harkness. ( )
  stephanie.croaning | Sep 28, 2014 |
Reading this shortly after Georgia in Hawaii (with Minette's Feast waiting on my desk) I am finding myself becoming really interested in the picture book biography genre, mainly because of everything that must be left out in a work so abbreviated.

How much context can you skip over and still leave a story that's pretty much true? How fair is it to kids? Is it worse to not tell any part of the story at all, or to tell so little that you run the risk of misrepresenting the facts? ( )
  MelissaZD | Dec 31, 2013 |
Reading this shortly after Georgia in Hawaii (with Minette's Feast waiting on my desk) I am finding myself becoming really interested in the picture book biography genre, mainly because of everything that must be left out in a work so abbreviated.

How much context can you skip over and still leave a story that's pretty much true? How fair is it to kids? Is it worse to not tell any part of the story at all, or to tell so little that you run the risk of misrepresenting the facts? ( )
  MelissaZD | Dec 31, 2013 |
The story of a dressmaker that trekked into the wilds of central China to bring back the first giant panda that many Americans had ever seen is beautiful, true, and cleanly presented. I like the inclusion of a summative author's note and photograph at the end. Any kid could read and enjoy this, and learn a little something too. ( )
  matthewbloome | May 19, 2013 |
Fantastic mixed media illustration. Inspiring subject. Adorable pandas. Loved it! ( )
  MontLancLibrary | May 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alicia Potterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sweet, MelissaIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375844481, Hardcover)

In 1934, Ruth Harkness had never seen a panda bear.  Not many people in the world had.

But soon the young Mrs. Harkness would inherit an expedition from her explorer husband: the hunt for a panda.  She knew that bringing back a panda would be hard. Impossible, even.  But she intended to try.

So she went to China, where she found a guide, built traps, gathered supplies, and had explorers' clothes made—unheard of for a woman in those days.  Then she set out up the Yangtze River and into the wilderness.  What she discovered would awe America: an adorable baby panda she named Su Lin, which means "a little bit of something very cute."

With breathtaking illustrations from Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet, this little-known true story shares the tale of an adventurous woman who was bold and brave—and the unforgettable journey that helped shape American attitudes toward wildlife.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:27 -0400)

Traces the story of a 1930s female adventurer who brought America its first panda bear, describing how she inherited a seemingly impossible expedition from her explorer husband and defied period conventions to travel up the Yangtze River and into the wilderness to bring back an adorable panda cub she named Su Lin, which means "a little bit of something cute."… (more)

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