Monday, March 19, 2012
Mrs. Harkness and the Panda
Mrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, is my Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2012 book for March.
This is a story that will be new to most readers, and it is told here in simple terms. The details included are of the type that will catch kids' imaginations (Harkness traded in her hiking boots for rope sandals and sometimes rode on a bier-like contraption) while skipping the minutia. Focus is given to those who doubted a woman's ability to complete the panda-finding mission as well as Harkness's handily showing them all. In an author's note, there is discussion of the fact that the practice of removing a baby panda from the wild would be frowned upon nowadays while acknowledging the positive impact it had at the time. The illustrations mimic the feel of a travel journal, with lots of quick sketches and pressed objects accompanying the more detailed illustrations.
Mrs. Harkness and the Panda is publishing by Knopf Books for Young Readers and retails for $16.99 (hardcover). I read my copy by picking it up from the shelves for a few minutes. You can get yours at Left Bank Books today!