A sweet and funny story about sharing, friendship and belonging. When Little Panda startles Big Panda awake inside his den, Big Panda crankily declares, “Mine.” Then he puts Little Panda outside, “Yours.” When he still won’t leave, Big Panda offers Little Panda a kite. Which delights him! Until the kite’s tail starts annoying the other animals in the forest by sweeping up their things. They all give him the same message: their things, “Mine;” the kite, “Yours.” And soon the animals themselves get caught as they try to reclaim their stuff. Can they all learn a new word “Ours?” No “mine” allowed! This story’s too fun not to share!
Called a “born storyteller” by the media, Marsha Diane Arnold is the picture book author of 21 books, with over one million books sold. Her books have garnered honors from Best First Book by a New Author to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Smithsonian Notable. Recent books include the bilingual Galápagos Girl and Lost. Found., both Junior Library Guild selections. Lost. Found. received three starred reviews and was illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner Matthew Cordell.
Growing up on the Kansas prairies, Marsha lived in Northern California most of her life. Now she lives with her husband in Florida, near the Caloosahatchee River and her family. Besides creating stories, she loves scuba diving, hiking, traveling, gardening, and climbing trees.
What do you hope children enjoy about your character, Little Panda?
Little Panda is such an open spirit, believing that all will welcome him. He tries his best, but continues to “make messes,” just like small children usually do. Still, in the end, he is loved and protected by all.
What was the hardest part about creating this book?
The hardest part was actually the most fun. The story began with an entirely different set of characters, but due to circumstances, I needed to change them rather dramatically. I decided to choose animals from Asia, specifically China, and then used games from China. It was challenging to find the right animals and games, but great fun doing the research.