Review on the Book “Rhonda the Panda”

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Rhonda is a young panda who, apart from eating, only wants to sleep. She is extremely lazy. Her brother, Cato, ends up playing by himself because Rhonda is always too tired. One day, her parents and her brother take her to visit her cousin, Karla. Karla and Rhonda are so excited to spend time together and, of course, play loads of games. Rhonda the Panda is a story that teaches children that playing games is more fun than being idle.

There is either an illustration or a few lines of text on each of the 36 pages in this book. The book is formatted with an illustration on one page and writing on the next. I like this setup; it gives the child time to look at the images while the parent/guardian is reading the script. Conversely, if the child is learning to read, the writing stands clearly enough without images to confuse it.

The illustrations of this book are outstanding. I absolutely love them. The pandas are all drawn with perfect scale and likeness. Usually, images depicting movement are where illustrations fall short, but these ones are done wonderfully. The colours are lively and vibrant and will keep a child’s attention easily.

Unfortunately, that is where the positives end. I think the story is fine, but there is no real focus as to where it’s headed. Rhonda starts out as a panda who doesn’t like to be active, but she’s happy to play with Karla. Why does she play with Karla and not with her brother? Why is Karla so special? There isn’t enough explanation as to why things happen like they do. On the way to Karla’s house, Rhonda, her parents, and her brother go past a playground of sorts called ‘Bamboo Gym Camp.’ There are lots of other pandas playing there that are about Rhonda’s age. Yet, all the family does is look at the camp as they walk past. Why is this place even featured? It doesn’t add anything to the story as far as I can tell. Maybe it’s there to prove that pandas that play together have lots of fun. Whatever the reason, it should not always be the reader’s duty to make a connection.

The actual narrative is also not very good. There are a few commas missing, and there is incorrect capitalisation of mom and dad throughout the story. One of the things that bother me the most is how the word ‘many’ is repeated several times in the story. This is a children’s book, and to have one word repeated so often shows a lack of imagination – or lack of a thesaurus.

I rate Rhonda the Panda 2 out of 4 stars. The illustrations carry this book. The storyline needs to be more concise and the direction needs definition. I would recommend this book to younger children (age 2 – 5) as the graphics are really fantastic. Otherwise, this story needs some inspiration before I can recommend it to anyone else.

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