The Panda’s Child


What happened during the seven days that the child was missing? Although the villagers gave up their search after three days, certain the boy had been the victim of ‘wolves, wild dogs, leopards or the spirits of the forest‘, his mother continued. What’s more she recognised his cry and followed it to a cave. What she discovered there changed everything. It meant that the villagers left gifts of thanks to the she-bear panda that seems to have cared for the child. Then again, it meant that they regarded the boy with awe.

However, when the bold men, in furs and brocade, carrying weapons and a raft of wild, captured animals, tracked by hunting dogs, entered the village, the villagers hid. It seemed these warriors sought a ‘black and white- bear.. monkey‘? for the great Alexander. However, the boy, now nine, stepped forward. It seemed he wanted to meet this great warrior and offered to accompany the troop back to this treasured place. After all, The Panda’s Child, captured by the warriors as an offering would need the boy ‘to keep him alive‘. However, what does the boy have planned? What secret communication has he with the wonderful menagerie of captured beasts?

Alongside a story of wonder and majesty from Jackie Morris, we’ve the glorious pictures of Cathy Fisher. Altogether it means that The Panda’s Child is a work of might and awe. Bookwagon is proud to recommend this title and welcome it aboard.

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The Panda’s Child

Jackie Morris and Cathy Fisher

(Otter-Barry Books)

For ‘three long days‘ the villagers searched for the missing boy until it seemed there was no hope. After all, wouldn’t it be likely that he’d been ‘taken by wolves, wild dogs, leopards, or the spirits of the forest’? It meant that the child’s mother continued to search alone until she heard a cry…
Could it be that within  a ‘cave, warm, alive’ was her child? He’d been gone for ‘seven long days’ seemingly cared for by a she-bear, a female panda. It led the villagers to leave gifts for the animal and regard the child as someone special. Therefore what might happen some nine years later when ‘horses and elephants and men dressed n bright colours, brocade and furs, silver and gold, great hunting dogs’… arrive? Then again, they rode upon elephants’ backs and carried cages of monkeys and birds. However, one cage was empty. It seemed these visitors sought a ‘black and white- bear’ perhaps a monkey. What’s more, they would stop at nothing to capture their prey.
Therefore, what deal might the boy strike with these incomers? While the villagers might turn away, it seems he has some special connection with the animal menagerie and captured for the esteemed leader’s pleasure. Could he offer to attend with the stolen animals? Then again, what are the boy’s plans? Why does he ask to meet ‘the great Alexander‘?
Jackie Morris and Cathy Fisher collaborate upon a work of  might and majesty. It feels as though we are falling into this wonder, clutching at the richness of the story and pictures. We’re reminded of The Pond for example, and then The Lost Words. Altogether, The Panda’s Child is a work of something other, a story to be read, held close and gifted. Bookwagon recommends and loves The Panda’s Child.


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