Hint: it wasn’t a panda


One day a girl, about 8 or 9 years old, approached me at the desk in the Children’s Room. She asked me for a book and said it was called, The Wonderful Mr. Panda. Or something. I did a quick catalog search and nothing came up under this title. I asked her a few more questions. “What is the book about? Where did you hear about this book?” She said she heard about it at school and it was about a panda. Nothing was coming up.

I searched for a few more minutes before I had a brainwave and asked, “Was it The One and Only Ivan?” She didn’t seem sure, so I asked if she remembered what the cover looked like. “I think it had an elephant on the back.” Bazinga! I went to pull The One and Only Ivan from the shelf and as soon as she saw it she said, “Yes, that’s it!”

I was pretty impressed to be able to recognize the book she wanted with her garbled title and plot and the whole thing kind of made me laugh. It just goes to show how important it is to know your collection and the books kids are reading because you just never know when The Wonderful Mr. Panda could actually be a request for The One and Only Ivan  and not about a panda at all, but about a gorilla.

P.S. The One and Only Ivan is a fantastically wonderful book by the way. It won the 2013 Newbery Award so I highly recommend that you all go out and read it today!


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