Well, that was an unexpected 6-week break from the blog! Some family upheaval meant that life got in the way for a while, but I’m now looking forward to getting back to reading…

This is a brilliant book to start with. We are big fans of the fantastic and hilarious Dave Pigeon series, and so when I saw that Swapna Haddow and Sheena Dempsey had teamed up again to create a new series, I knew it would be a sure fire hit.

Lin the gorgeously-cute panda starts off life very well-behaved, even if she has to work hard at it. Her fame as the world’s fluffiest panda means that she eventually gets shipped off overseas to a city zoo so that she can star in all her fluffy-cute glory. However, after meeting a new friend, Fu, she decides that if being good got her transported overseas, the only way to get back to her family’s sanctuary is to be bad – and boy, can she be bad! Unfortunately, though, she starts to realise that being bad is still seen as super-cute if you are a fluffy-wuffy panda, so she really has to up her badness game…

This is everything you want illustrated fiction to be: an inventive plot, naughty antics, loads of laughs and some brilliantly-expressive illustrations. Hats off to Sheena Dempsey: it can’t be easy making a panda look bad, but she absolutely nails it in so many different ways. It’s a fantastic story to share and, like the Dave Pigeon stories, the varied page layouts – this time with a pop of colour – are really appealing and add lots of interest for young readers. I can’t wait to read the next in the series…

Bad Panda.
Swapna Haddow
Illustrator: Sheena Dempsey
Publisher: Faber and Faber

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