Highly recommended ***** After reading the precious little book written by Ruthie Darling, my grand daughters wanted to know more about her, and her work. I explained to the girls, Sarah and Rebecca, that she had been a teacher, very much like the teachers that they had in their elementary school (at least for Sarah, so far). Like many teachers who have the task of inspiring the children they teach, Ms Darling was also inspired by the kids that she taught ( or did they teach her?). She lives her tales and it shows in the depth of what she has to say in her books, and how she says it.
As I mentioned, or as Sarah mentioned, at 7 years old, she feels that this book, called “Miranda the Panda” is geared for a younger crowd, as she put it. After all, she is 7! Her sister is only five, so Sarah agreed to read the book to her younger sibling. She did so, with great timing and made sure that the pauses were just right and went over the pictures making sure that Rebecca saw each and every one. The illustrations by Tricia Capraro are wonderful and makes one want to find a Miranda the Panda doll to hold and hug while living her tale.
The story is about a panda who because of someone not locking a gate, escapes from the zoo. Miranda, being a panda who spends all day kind of doing nothing takes this opportunity to spread her wings, so to speak, and see what the world is like on the other side. After all, how much bamboo can one little panda eat? How many hours can a panda sleep? So when the opportunity strikes, off she goes! Leaving all her friends behind.
Miranda gets into town and sees a playground where lots of kids are playing and having fun ( sort of like she did back at the zoo). Rebecca noticed this right away. Then Miranda walked down the street peering into shop windows. She sees a mop store and a bakery with lots of cool treats and sweets, but none that she could eat. Then she visited a toy store, but these were not games for pandas, like the ones at the zoo. Her favorite store was a hat shop where she tried on lots of looks, but none were for her. She went into a beauty parlor, but this was not a place for a bear to be as they could not help her fur and her nails were far to long and hard to clip or polish.
Her next stop was a school, with lots of happy kids, but she was kind of scared at the fuss she caused with the kids and left on the bus. The ride was as bumpy as could be and she was unsure of where the bus would take her. She ends up reaching the zoo that she had left and walked in the entrance feeling that this was her place. Her friends, the zookeeper, the games and bamboo were all that she needed to make her a happy panda bear. Rebecca said that the moral of the story to her was that no matter what type of adventure one may think about and whatever the fantasies in your dreams, home is still the best place to be. Rebecca loved the pictures in the book and the pattern of the story, saying this could be a song if someone were to put music to it.
Just like “The Hole Story”, the girls thought this to be a fun experience. The reader and the audience. To learn more about Ms Darling and her work, visit www.ruthiedarling.com. If you have any questions, you can even write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org- or have mom and dad do it for you.