Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Book Review: Peter Panda Melts Down! by Artie Bennett

I'm kicking off my return to reviewing books on this blog with a new title from author Artie Bennett. I've reviewed a few of his hilarious non-fiction offerings in the past, so I'm excited to review his new title, a rhyming fiction picture book.

The Stats: Peter Panda Melts Down! by Artie Bennett, illustrated by John Nez, released February 11 from Blue Apple Books

The Synopsis: Peter Panda is your average young child who loves whatever it is he's doing--until something goes wrong and he melts down. Luckily Mama Panda is there to help him move beyond his tantrums, and to show him that melting down is something that happens to everyone every once in a while.

The Review: I love Bennett's dexterity with rhyming text. His lines are always a joy to read, and they roll off the tongue like in the best of rhyming picture books. This particular story also includes a fun, repeatable refrain: "Uh-oh. Here it comes. Here comes that frown. Peter Panda melts dowwwwnnn!" It's a line that will be tons of fun for young readers to recite during the story. I couldn't help smiling whenever Peter began to have one of his meltdowns, as they feel so genuine in how they occur. Peter apologizing for making his mom melt down rings very true, too. Nez's illustrations, which are big and bright, depict the action of the story along with the text, giving this title great potential for read-alouds and one-on-one sharing with a child.

The Programming Connection: I'll be using this title in story times for sure. I'll also include it in book displays at ECRR and other parent story time workshops, as this would be a great title for parents to share with their kids to talk about feelings and work through difficulties transitioning between activities.

The Giveaway!
I've got a copy of Peter Panda Melts Down! SIGNED by Artie Bennett to give away. If you'd like to be entered in the giveaway drawing, enter your email address in the form below by the end of the day 10 p.m. CST on Tuesday, February 11.

Review copy provided by the author.

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