Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, March 2012
In 1934, Ruth Harkness had never seen a panda bear. Not many people in the world had.
But soon the young Mrs. Harkness would inherit an expedition from her explorer husband: the hunt for a panda. She knew that bringing back a panda would be hard. Impossible, even. But she intended to try.
So she went to China, where she found a guide, built traps, gathered supplies, and had explorers’ clothes made—unheard of for a woman in those days. Then she set out up the Yangtze River and into the wilderness. What she discovered would awe America: an adorable baby panda she named Su Lin, which means “a little bit of something very cute.”
With breathtaking illustrations from Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet, this little-known true story shares the tale of an adventurous woman who was bold and brave—and the unforgettable journey that helped shape American attitudes toward wildlife.
Starred Review, Booklist
“An engaging, graceful narrative…. Sweet’s Asian style watercolor landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful.”
Starred Review, School Library Journal
“This little gem will be perfect for one-on-one sharing and for those second-grade biography assignments. It’s simply stunning.”
Awards and Honors
- Cybils Award for Best Nonfiction Picture Book 2012
- A Bank Street Best Book of 2012, Outstanding Merit
- Comstock Read-Aloud Award
- A Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2013
- Junior Library Guild Selection