Panda is a creative bear who lives in a village of elephants. While they like football, Panda prefers skateboarding, painting and playing the drums. Feeling lonely, Panda decides that he’ll be happier being with pandas who look like him and do the same things. Along the way, Panda meets Jerome, a friendly giraffe who shows him that finding your home has more to do with discovering people who love you as you are. And love is shown through caring for one another.
Panda’s journey mirrors that discovery of grace every Christian makes. Actually, there’s not much difference between Panda and the other pandas; they’re all focused on what suits them best. Through this story, children learn a new way of seeing friendships—as a gift rather than a means of getting what you want.
About the author
Mark Hadley has been a professional writer for 25 years, creating award-winning documentaries and television series, including Christian productions like The Christ Files and The Life of Jesus. He is a regular on the national radio program Open House and a columnist for sixteen Christian publications across Australia. Mark and his wife Maia live an adventure that centres on three young sons in the suburbs of Sydney.
Author Spotlight: Mark Hadley from Youthworks on Vimeo.
About the illustrator
After four years at Sydney’s College of Fine Arts, Nathan Lee went to Youthworks College and now works as a youth minister on Sydney’s North Shore. Nathan lives in Sydney with his schoolteacher wife, Katrina. He is convinced that, after the skateboard, the felt-tip pen is humanity’s best invention!
What Kids' and Parents Love About Panda: Home
I like when he moves places, and he finds friends who like him and share their things with him. I like how the lion doesn't want to eat him. That would be silly if the lion ate him.
Abby, aged 4.
I like that Panda learns about friendship - that it's not about finding people who are the same as you, but learning to appreciate others for who they are. It's a book that sets a foundation for conversations to come as we help our daughter navigate life. Also, the fun artwork keeps the kids engaged, and the little jokes about Zildjians, kickflips and Picasso are amusing for parents. Well done!
Matt, Abby's Dad.
Panda's journey demonstrates that difference need not be a barrier to friendship. True friendship is found in sharing, helping and caring for one another. Jerome's kindness to Panda shows children both what to look for in a good friend and how to be one.
Katrina Roe, Author & Broadcaster
What is Panda: Home about?
Panda: Home, by Mark Hadley from Youthworks on Vimeo.