'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Friday, 19 August 2016

Review: Pandamonia

I've always thought of pandas as rather peaceful, playful creatures. Not the kind of animal prone to inciting riots. Seems I was wrong.

At the zoo, there's just one rule: don't wake the panda whatever you do!

If you wake the panda, he'll get very grumpy. That, of course, will make the hippos 'all jumpy'. And from there it's a rapid spiral into mayhem. The termites get tickly, the echidna gets prickly, the emus shimmy, the tapirs jiggle, the jabirus jabber, the yaks yak …

And all because somebody woke the panda. There's a reason the word 'pandemonium' (almost) has 'panda' in it!

Told in rollicking rhyme that builds in inventiveness and momentum, this is a wonderful story to read aloud. I can see entire classrooms of kids having an absolute ball as toucans can-can, grizzly bears rumba and black cockatoos screech rock 'n' roll.

Matching the ever-increasing verbal chaos, the illustrations too grow in complexity, with more and more elements being added to each spread. Chris Nixon's sophisticated colour palette further enhances the visual appeal of this gorgeous book, and also contrasts beautifully with the simple black-and-white endpapers that feature a snoozing panda.

Next time I'm at a zoo, I know I'll be trying to wake up those pandas … just to see what happens!

Title: Pandamonia
Author: Chris Owen
Illustrator: Chris Nixon
Publisher: Fremantle Press, $24.99
Publication Date: August 2016
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781925163339
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book

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