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Mrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter

Mrs. Harkness and the Panda

by Alicia Potter, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)

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Such lovely illustrations; would be a great part of a nonfiction collection about women in history.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
This books shows the strength and courage Mrs. Harkness had to be able to go on after her husbands death and to finish his work even though women were not suppose to travel or go hunting for animals in foreign countries.
Curriculum connections:
Inspired by Melissa Sweet’s illustration, create a collage piece of your own based on an expedition YOU would like to take someday
Good scientists always ask questions before they do experiments or head out on an expedition. Brainstorm a list of questions Mrs. Harkness may have wondered about each of these topics. Then write observations she might have made on each topic. Pandas, weather, transportation, clothing, students could keep their questions and observations in a chart as they read.
The multiculturalism connection is to Japan and it's culture.
  sanm277 | Jan 27, 2016 |
I really liked this book for a couple of reasons. First, I found the plot and information provided to be very interesting. It was a story that I hadn't heard before and maybe isn't told as often as others. Secondly, I really liked the way that the information and illustrations were organized within the story. The illustrations are pretty and truly enhance the story. The big idea of this story was to share information about the life of Ruth Harkness and how the first panda bear came to the United States. ( )
  rsochu1 | Mar 25, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:16 -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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