Project Description


Pi-shu the Little Panda

by John Butler

Enjoy this heartwarming story about a small panda whose home is threatened by the encroachment of humans.

On the slopes of Misty Mountain, Pi-shu the little panda lives with his mother Fei-Fei. Pi-shu loves to explore the slopes of the mountain. One day when Pi-shu ventures further down the mountainside, he encounters people for the first time. They are clearing more and more trees from the forest. It is no longer safe to stay, so Pi-shu and Fei-Fei set out on an arduous journey across the mountains in search of a new home.

John Butler’s compelling words and exquisite, lifelike paintings help young readers understand the joy and tenderness of giant panda families. A Panda Facts page at the end of the book invites readers to learn more about this endangered species.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-242-2
Publication Date: 3/1/2001
Page Count: 32
Size: 10-3/4″ x 9-3/4″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
AR Level: 4.7
F&P: GRL N, Gr 3, Genre F
Lexile: AD770L
Themes: Animal Families, Endangered Animals, Pandas


“The pictures are gorgeous with panoramic views of the valleys and mountains at dusk, snow gently falling on the huddled mother and child and expressive faces on the lifelike pandas.” ―School Library Journal

“The pictures are pretty, with the roly-poly pandas in their black and white furriness contrasting with the misty mountains, lush greenery, and snowy hills…. oh!-those faces..” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Butler turns the spotlight on another endangered species in this tenderly delineated tale of a baby panda, his mother, and their quest for a peaceful habitat…. Butler’s simply story line effectively relates basic information (expanded on in an afterword) while remaining true to the animal’s nature, but it’s the artwork that takes center stage…. the lush details on uncluttered backgrounds perfectly capture sweeping vistas as well as the tiniest fern frond. Butler also compellingly outlines the intimacy between mother panda and the irresistibly bright-eyed Pi-Shu.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Dreamy, soft, and lovely illustrations draw youngsters in.” ―Booklist

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“Brilliantly illustrated books about the lives of bears… John Butler’s paintings magnificently capture his subjects…making the prose come alive for the reader.” ―Bristol Herald Courier

“The lovely pictures are breathtaking, with panoramic vistas of the valleys and mountains at dusk, snow gently falling on the huddled pandas, and the animals’ expressive faces. The book also has a fact page and references for more information. Young kids can really relate to the mommy panda caring for her baby.” ―Homeschool Blogger

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Best Children’s Books of the Year ― Bank Street College of Education, 2002

Children’s Book Award (Silver Medal) ― Florida Reading Association, 2002-2003

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Meet the Author/Illustrator

John Butler has written more than a dozen books for children and illustrated over sixty. His books have been published in more than twenty countries and won awards such as the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award, IRA Teachers’ Choice Awards, and Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year. He has had a long career in illustration, working for a very wide range of clients including Time magazine, “Sesame Street,” and the Sunday Times. He lives in England. You can visit his website here.