From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A picture-book introduction to the world's eight bear species. Similar in format to the Minors' If You Were a Penguin (HarperCollins, 2009), Panda Bear is written in rhymed quatrains that have minimal facts about each breed (e.g., a sun bear's long tongue helps it get honey; and grizzlies can be 10 feet tall and love to catch salmon with their paws and teeth). Each four-liner is divided between the one or two spreads allotted to each species. Skillfully detailed paintings show the variety in textures of the bears' fur-some soft, some wiry, others thick and fluffy. Facial close-ups of panda, sloth, black, moon, sun, and spectacled bears show intelligence and compassion. Because many of the poems pair a small fact or two with the nonsense of forced rhyme (e.g., "If you were a spectacled bear,/You'd have furry eyeglasses./And if you went to school,/You'd look smart in your classes"), libraries that purchase the book may want to consider cataloging it as a picture book. In contrast to the simple text, two appended pages of "Bear Fun Facts" and a half page of excellent "Bear Sources and Websites" are more appropriate for older children. Bob Barner's Bears! Bears! Bears! (Chronicle, 2010), an informational book that is also written in rhyme, ends with a fact about bear cubs of each species and a colorful map that shows where they live.-Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, OHα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“A global array of bears parade by in this delightful story for the very young. A lovely title to engage the imaginations and interest of budding animal enthusiasts.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Praise for If You Were a Penguin: “Wendell’s vibrant large-scale figures, set against bracing polar landscapes, have enough personality to captivate a crowd.” (ALA Booklist)
Praise for If You Were a Penguin: “A playful and lightly informative look at the life of penguins...an excellent storytime addition.” (School Library Journal)