Panda’s are furry and cute, and thus are one of the many mammals – such as kittens, kangaroos, and meerkats – that are beloved by thousands of people. This book has two parallel tracks. One counts baby pandas while the other gives information about the giant panda life cycle and habitat.
The photographs are spot-on, capturing the cuddly-looking cuteness of the animals that are the reason most children will pick up the book in the first place. I did not entirely care for the dual nature of the book, counting down on one page while giving information on the other. Children who are old enough to read and appreciate the information section might be scared away by the “babyish” aspect of the counting, while young children who just want to look at the pictures are not going to be as interested in the facts. Still, if some of the younger children sit still to hear the information we can hope that they will grow up to be naturalists.
An afterword includes information on the earthquake that damaged the breeding facility where most of the pictures were taken. A subtext of the book is that the number of giant pandas is declining, creating a worrisome situation in regards to their survival.