What Are the Panda Book Awards?
Giant panda cubs are usually born in the fall, so it’s fitting that this season also heralds the launch of the 2013 Panda Book Awards. As one of China’s national treasures, pandas make a spot-on mascot for this annual series of children’s literary prizes. “The aim of the [awards]is to encourage students to read across genres and exchange insights [with other readers,]” says Nadine Rosevear, the middle school librarian at the International School of Beijing (ISB) and founder of the Panda Book Awards. “The Panda Awards try to be as international as possible and often there will be books in translation,” she adds, in order to introduce new stories and writers to kids.
Rosevear has worked overseas as an educator since 1984 in countries like Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan. The Panda Book Awards were inspired by a similar set of prizers, the Sakura Book Medals, awarded by international schools in Japan. “In spring 2008, I proposed at a Beijing Librarians’ Network meeting that we could do a similar reading initiative in Beijing,” she says. “Eight schools came on board and we had our first awards in the spring of 2009. Last year, over 20 schools and 3,700 students from all over China participated in the awards. This year, I hope to get even more kids and parents interested in reading the Panda books and casting their votes in February. ”
Take Your Pick
“When we decide which books are going to be on the final lists, we will have heard not only from teachers and librarians but also from students,” says Rosevear. “Students have a great deal of input on the nominations. They are an important player and their voices will be heard.” The nominated books have been shortlisted into four categories:
Panda Books Shortlists 2013-2014 (Books are listed in alphabetical order) Younger Readers (EC 3-Grade 2)
- Chu’s Day (2013) by Neil Gaiman
- Creepy Carrots (2012) by Aaron Reynolds
- The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2012) by Joyce William
- Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth (2012) by Sanjay Patel
- Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (2012) by Mo Willems
- The Last Viking (2011) by Norman Jorgensen
- Nighttime Ninja (2012) by Barbara DaCosta
- Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons (2012) by Eric Litwin
Middle Readers (Grades 3-5)
- Alvin Ho: Allergic to Babies, Burglars, and Other Bumps in the Night (2013) by Lenore Look
- The Apothecary (2012) by Maile Meloy
- Bridget and Bo Build a Blog (2012) by Amanda St. John
- Crouching Tiger (2011) by Ying Chang Compestine
- Hero on a Bicycle (2013) by Shirley Hughes
- Jinx (2013) by Sage Blackwood
- The Superheroes Employment Agency (2012) by Marilyn Singer
- Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (2013) by Stephan Pastis
Older Readers (Grades 6-8)
- Chomp (2012) by Carl Hiaasen
- The Horse Road (2012) by Troon Harrison
- Maggot Moon (2013) by Sally Gardner
- Ruby Red (2011) by Kerstin Gier
- Sidekicks (2011) by Jack D. Ferraiolo
- Ungifted (2012) by Gordon Korman
- Wonder (2012) by R.J. Palacio
- A World Without Fish (2011) by Mark Kurlansky
Mature Readers (Grades 9-12)
- BZRK (2012) by Michael Grant
- Death Comes to Pemberley (2011) by P.D. James
- The Dressmaker of Kahir Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe (2012) by Gayle Tezemach Lemmon
- The Fault in Our Stars (2012) by John Green
- The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared (2012) by Jonas Jonasson
- Infinite Kung Fu (2011) by Kagan McLeod
- The Shadow on the Mountain (2012) by Margi Preus
- Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal (2012) by Chris Colfer
Hit the Books
Now that the shortlists have been announced, librarians and teachers at participating schools will be busy distributing the reading lists and promoting the titles through in-school reading programs. “All schools have reading goals and the awards help students achieve these goals as the books offer quality fiction and interesting non-fiction,” Rosevear says.
Reviews on beijingkids
Every week between now and the voting period in February, we will spotlight a different book on the beijingkids blog. Children and educators at international schools around China will review and share their favorite book. “I hope that we can reach a wider audience and encourage more kids to read the Panda books,” says Rosevear.
Read the weekly reviews for the Panda books on the beijingkids blog.
And the Award Goes to…
Voting in each category will take place from February 10 to 21, 2014. “[Students] get to cast their votes and hope that their favorite book will win,” Rosevear says. “I love the kids’ enthusiasm when they discover a book they really like, and when I see them recommending [it]to a friend.” After the polls close and the winners have been announced, beijingkids will host an award ceremony in March 2014.
As co-host, beijingkids is offering 20% discount on those books for our readers. This blog shows you how to use our code to get the discount and make cash-on-delivery purchase from Amazon.cn.
The Panda Book Award’s Wiki
It’s A Panda-emic!
1. Lun Lun at Zoo Atlanta, twin cubs.
2. Mei Xiang at the National Zoo in Washington DC, single cub.
3. Tian Tian at Edinburgh Zoo, pregnant.
4. Yang Yang at Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna, single cub.
5. Xin Xin at The Endangered Species Research Center in Shanxi Province, single cub.
6. Haizi at the Wolong Panda Protected Zone in Sichuan, twin cubs.
7. Mei Qing at Chime Long Safari Park in Guangzhou, single cub.
8. Ying Ying at Ocean Park in Hong Kong, pregnant.
9. Yuan Yuan at Taipei Zoo, single cub.
Panda Schools (2013):
Beijing City International School
Canadian International School of Beijing
Dulwich College Beijing
Harrow International Beijing
International School of Beijing
LyceeFrancais International de Beijing
The British School of Beijing
Western Academy of Beijing
Yew Chung International School of Beijing
International School of TianjinTeda International School
Nanjing International School
Suzhou Singapore International School
Shanghai Rainbow Bridge International School
Access International Academy Ningbo
Huamao Multicultural Education Academy
American International School of Guangzhou
QSI International School of Shenzhen
i. Hong Kong
International Christian School Hong Kong
Photos courtesy of ISB
This article originally appeared on p44-47 of the beijingkids October 2013 issue.
Check out the PDF version online at Issuu.com