The Giant Panda Plan (Teeny Houdini #3). Katrina Moore. Illustrated by Zoe Si. 2022. [June] 144 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: "Roar! Roar!" I call to the lions. I stand on my tippy-toes to get as close as I can to them. "Why won't they roar back, Mom?" I ask.
Premise/plot: Bessie Lee and her classmates--both her close friends, friends, and frenemies--take it upon themselves [to single-handedly] save pandas. This comes about as a result of a zoo field trip. The students brainstorm "a way" to "save" pandas. This involves the students working together as groups and doing presentations. A bit of an elevated show-and-tell of sorts. But the show that was going to SAVE the pandas goes all wrong with egos get in the way.
My thoughts: I didn't like this one. Not really. I thought it was odd. Perhaps it was just too much to sit down and read books two and three back to back. Perhaps the plot of the third book is just weaker. I don't mind the let's-all-be-activist perspective in small doses. But I don't know how a bunch of first graders are going to do anything on a big enough scale to "save" the pandas. True, in this book, the first graders are miraculously able to raise a thousand dollars. But I don't think that's realistic. [Or perhaps Bessie Lee is just in a really high-class, super-wealthy school district].
It also seemed a little odd--though I could be wrong--that Bessie Lee (and presumably) others are getting to hold/handle an actual baby panda from the zoo.
This book is more about sabotaging other students' work than anything else. [This is my opinion].
© 2022 Becky Laney of Young Readers