Pandamonia by Chris Owen, illustrated by Chris Nixon (Fremantle Press) HB RRP $24.99
Reviewed by Teena Raffa-Mulligan
One grumpy panda sets off a frenzy of wild partying at the zoo in this fun-filled picture book that is sure to become a family favourite.
There’s a light-hearted playfulness in both text and illustrations that will bring lots of smiles to story time.
The constant reminder not to wake the panda during the zoo visit is a page-turner and there are sure to be some breathless ‘uh ohs’ from young listeners when the final line of this rollicking tale is revealed.
The book is spot on for its target market of children up to eight years of age.
Adults too can’t help but be charmed by the chaotic cavorting of a lively menagerie, as hopping hippos, giggling geckos and jabbering jabirus set off a domino effect that leads to pandemonium.
Owen, whose first book My Superhero was shortlisted for a Western Australian Premier’s Book Award in 2014, has an excellent sense of rhyme and rhythm and makes good use of alliteration.
When the crocodile snaps, the lion will roar!
The bison and buffalo bellow for more.
A frenzy of animals flocks to the floor
and that’s when you know there is trouble in store.
His text is beautifully complemented by Nixon’s distinctive illustrations with their strong focus on pattern and shape.
While younger readers will enjoy sharing Pandamonia with a parent, grandparent or carer, the book would also have a place in the early primary classroom and teacher notes are available from the publisher.