Coco the Panda's Picks

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton is one of my all-time favorites, even though there's not a single panda to be found in its pages. It's that amazing.


Pinecone is a young warrior princess, and like any little warrior princess, she needs a mighty steed to ride into battle. And finally, on her birthday, her parents give her...a pony. A short, squat, flatulent little pony.


But Princess Pinecone isn't about to let that stop her from proving herself the mightiest, if smallest, warrior in the land.

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

Peter Reynolds has written and illustrated a lot of really amazing picture books, and Word Collector might be my new favorite.


Jerome has a hobby—he collects words, just like some people collect stamps or bugs or coins. Sometimes he doesn’t even know what they mean when he writes them down, but they look so wonderful he has to include them.


One day, though, he realizes he can do so much more with his words—he can use his collection to make something new and unique, and even share them with other kids.


And as Jerome discovers, sometimes the most powerful words are also the simplest.

Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings

Can I Be Your Dog by Troy Cummings is a little unusual—it’s an entire story told through letters!


Arfy just wants a home and someone to love, so he decides to write to all the homes on Butternut Street, one at a time. And one at a time, he’s turned down—one house has a cat with ‘dog allergies’, and another house turns out to be completely empty.


But his letters don’t just reach those homes—someone else has seen his letters, and wants to take in Arfy just as much as he wants a family.

What do You do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada

Believe it or not, we pandas have some pretty big problems of our own. And sometimes those problems just seem to grow and grow and grow until it’s too big for just one panda to handle. Even grown-ups feel this way sometimes, so no wonder kids get overwhelmed!


But Kobi Yamada has some stellar advice on how to deal with your worries in his wonderful book, What Do You Do With a Problem? He doesn’t just remind us how to handle a problem—he points out that you can even be left with something good when you’re done!


Mae Besom’s illustrations fit perfectly, and are just as engaging and memorable as the story itself.

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen is pretty much perfect—Panda’s word of honor.


One day, a lion visits a library. No one knows what to make of it, but as Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, points out, he’s not breaking any rules by being there. (Though she does have to explain that neither running nor roaring are allowed in the library.)


Once the lion gets to sit through story hour, he’s determined to come back every day. Not everyone likes it, but they all have to agree that the lion hasn’t been running or roaring at all. Until one day, the lion does break the rules—for a very good reason. But is that reason good enough for the librarians to let him stay?

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