Ping Ping Panda and the Power of Personal Responsibility


Ping Ping Panda and the Power of Personal Responsibility

by Bernadette Shih & Stephen Smoke

Genre: Children, Folk Tale

Four Stars

I read Ping Ping Panda: The Power of Personal Responsibility with my 5-year-old son. I really like the purpose behind the story and the message to kids about taking responsibility.

Ping Ping the Panda receives a bag of money from his father for summer activities, telling him that it must last the whole summer. At a festival, Ping Ping and his friends enjoy all the cash and use it all on games, treats, and rides. When he returns home, he argues with his father about the money. Ping Ping is angry that his father sticks to his decision not to give Ping Ping more money. Father has a plan, though, and gives Ping Ping extra work. When the work is done, Ping Ping’s father gives him pay for his work. Over the summer Ping Ping earns enough money to go to the Big Concert and bring his friends along.

My son said he liked the story and the pictures, and his favorite part was where Ping Ping took his friends to the concert.

I enjoyed the bright, colorful pictures and the story’s admirable theme. The character pictures show cute and varying emotions in an interesting historical environment.

As a parent, I appreciate any reinforcement of my own lessons about responsibility. It is so easy in this fast and bountiful culture to miss the appreciation of what we have and of others’ generosity.

This book is written in the present tense, and I’m not a fan of that style. I feel the switch in the dialogue between past, present, and future tense, while correct, still makes for awkwardness in the flow of the story. This may not bother other readers. The story also uses a few big words which may be difficult for younger children. I don’t mind the bigger words because a few included in the story becomes an opportunity to teach a child vocabulary.

Ping Ping Panda: The Power of Personal Responsibility is a charming story that children will enjoy and learn a positive message. I approve this title for Awesome Indies.

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