HighwayGate Revisited

Snort…..Okay, okay, I’ll use any excuse to rerun this series of ‘toons about how Pinky closed the highway to Zoo Cublanta right during the Panda Scout cookie sale, in what has become known as the HighwayGate scandal! And now that the Sainted Governor of New Jersey, (the “What Exit” state,)  is back in the news about the BridgeGate scandal...well! Seems like the perfect opportunity to me!

What did they know, and when did they know it?


George Washington Bridge lane closure satire.

Princess Pinky Bao Bao…what have you done now?

zoo atlanta, bao bao, national zoo

Time to call in …Inspector panda!

Mei xiang and bao bao try to cover up highway-gate

Inspector Panda is on the job!

"Hello, Bai Yun? this is Lun Lun...about that detective you suggested..."

“Hello, Bai Yun? this is Lun Lun…about that detective you suggested…”

...of course Boo-mints are pretty good too.

…of course Boo-mints are pretty good too.

Inspector panda

Will the twins get a merit badge for their road trip? will Lun Lun fess up to where the girls are? will Inspector Panda get a clue, or at least more twitter followers. Stay tuned!

Bao Bao, washington DC cover-up

Oh, Pinky…what have you done?

Howdy, Mr Kitty, kindly tell us where a tired old cowpoke can get a boo beer and a cuppycake.

Howdy, Mr Kitty, kindly tell us where a tired old cowpoke can get a boo beer and a cuppycake.

Of course, you could read this story anytime you wanted, if you had Book 5 of The Panda Chronicles: Pandapocalypse Now!  Just saying.

Hope this has helped make your Friday Fabulously Furry!
Be the Bear,
Bob T Panda

The Cat Came Back

Oh, it was bound to happen. We know from past experience, that Pinky’s magical wand has a limited effect (well, except for the pooling of the Meihem twins and Po, which changed them into girls forever.) But this is terrible news! We were hoping Mittens would be gone for good but the cat came back and we are NOT glad to see him!

While this is being written in advance of the first real presidential debate, we can only say that we are waiting with baited breath (What DOES that mean anyway? Surely not with a piece of cheese or something on my tongue, does it?) for the credits to roll and the mud slinging to begin. But now, let’s not wait a moment longer to see what happens when …

The Cat Came Back …..

cat came back

Is it just my imagination or does Mittens look even more crazed than before?

Of course, by the time you read today’s post, the first debate will (thankfully) be over. I’m hoping to round up a few friends to watch, maybe with a bottle of scotch or bourbon to help the whole thing go down a little smoother. Maybe a drinking game or two…

Stay tuned folks.

Be the Bear,
Bob T Panda

People are Saying He’s Back

Oh no! I thought he was gone for good! But now…now people are saying he’s back! I think maybe Pinky should get a new, more powerful magical wand. This one is just not permanent!

Has the cat, in fact, come back?

people are saying

Pay us enough money and we’ll say just about anything! Cash only please. Upfront.

Hey! I bet you think we forgot about our drawing fro the really cool Toby stuff! We did not! We had Mehitabel the cat choose the winner and….drum roll please….

and The Winner is….

Lisa G. of the grand state of Ohio! Not only is it the Buckeye State, but it is also the home of The Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum at Ohio State University! Huzzah!  (In case you were thinking that comics and cartoons are not worthy of a whole stinking museum!) Thank you so much for joining us to welcome Toby and his book into the world!

Be the Bear!
Bob T Panda

Fabulous Furry Friday

Friday is one of those days. I can’t seem to wrap my head around a week being over so fast. I mean it seems like it was just Monday, and now I have to figure out what ‘toons to share to send you into the weekend. I know what I’m doing later in October, because who doesn’t want to have a re-run of A Halloween Carol, which was Bubba’s first starting role in a feature length ‘toon here at The Panda Chronicles!

And then there is the election…


NO….I just can’t bear it. Let’s have something more fun like maybe this:

I think we'll call this little debacle: Open Late Gate

I think we’ll call this little debacle: Open Late Gate

...or as Bubba says, "dis. not. stan!"

…or as Bubba says, “dis. not. stan!”

And remember Bubba getting ready for his big debut?

And then there was the day he had to figure out what to wear for his debut...

And then there was the day he had to figure out what to wear for his debut…

I'm ready for my close up!

I’m ready for my close up!

I didn't THINK that Pinky knew the "share" word.

I didn’t THINK that Pinky knew the “share” word.

And I know I re-ran this next ‘toon recently, but I just love it so much. Truly Pinky being Pinky.

See? I told you it was broken!

See? I told you it was broken!

Be sure to check in on Sunday, when I announce the WINNER of Toby’s book and swag bag! I used the highly scientific and accurate method of writing everyone’s name on little slips of paper and put them in a bag. I am then going to shake it up, and dump it on the bed and let Mehitabel choose the winning name! Ha! we don’t need no internet goobery automated contest thingies here! we do things the old fashioned way! Kind of like the cute-o-meter (now broken)

Be the (indecisive) Bear
Bob T. panda

The Field Narrows

You were dreading this moment. The moment when there was no longer any momentum, no longer any hope that your candidate could possibly win. The field has narrowed and we are left only with….Pinky.

Oh…and Mittens the Cat.

Poor Bob. The paw writing was on the wall….


Just don’t call Bob a loser. He feels bad enough already.

Sigh….Pinky may never let us forget this.

Meanwhile, you still have until tonight to comment on Pinky’s Interview with Toby and be eligible to win Toby’s new book and a whole bunch of really cool swag!!!!! Be sure to comment on this post by following the link-dinky!

What will Pinky get up to now that way is clear…oh…but is she still grounded?

Be the Bear!
Bob T. Panda

A Very Merry Birthday

One* downside of only doing 2 cartoons a week, is that sometimes events slip through the cracks and I don’t get to them in a timely manner. All of the panda birthday events happen in a very short period of time (not quite as short as the panda season of love, but, you know, those events are connected.) But recent news of the upcoming birthdays of two much loved Pandarazzi of The National Zoo gives me the perfect excuse to post this new ‘toon now!

I am particularly indebted to those regular zoo visitor panda photographers that chronicle the real pandas that fuel my panda satire obsession. I am far from pandas and my opportunities to visit them are limited, so to all who share their photos and videos on Fezbook and Twidder, this one is for you too!

Happy Birthday, Merry and Allen R.  I hope your birthday celebration is everything you hope it will be!


Bubba flunks “cake”


Up and away…..

Have a panful day out there, and for goodness sakes, have some CAKE!!!!!

Be the Bear!
Bob T. Panda

Thanks to  and        my twitter pals that alerted me to Merry and Allen’s birthday! Hope you guys enjoy this birthday surprise!

  • The other downside are the wails of despair when folks realize they have to wait another 4 days for a new ‘toon.


Fabulous Furry Friday… Arrr!

There are TWO important “days” coming up. No, it’s not Pinky’s birthday again, or even mine for that matter. Saturday, September 17th is International Red Panda Day, and Monday, September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day!  Arrr! In honor of these days, Fabulous Furry Friday brings you encore presentation ‘toons of Red Pandas and Pirate adventures! Huzzah! I mean… Arrr!

And every day around here is Talk Like a Panda Day!

"They'll never catch me!"

“They’ll never catch me!”

Oh those red pandas! They are such characters!

Oh those red pandas! They are such characters!

And who can forget Mr. Wu’s Pirate adventure?

Yo ho ho and a bottle of BooBeer!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of BooBeer!

21) Rusty the scuppers, pirate crew...

21) Rusty the scuppers, pirate crew…

uh oh!

uh oh!

The penguins save the day!

The penguins save the day!

"You are right and Wu is wrong...I'll never do it again, mommy."

“You are right and Wu is wrong…I’ll never do it again, mommy.”

Yes, It is the official banner of International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!!!

Yes, It is the official banner of International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!!!

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget, there is still time to enter the drawing to win Toby’s book and swag! But you must visit and comment on THIS POST to have a chance to win! (US addresses only)

Be the Bear,
Bob T. Panda


A Visit With Toby

In the spring of 2015, I saw an announcement of a mentor program offered by the Nevada chapter of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I started reading about the program, then reading seriously, and finally applied and was accepted to the program. I came out of the six month experience with a vastly expanded and improved graphic novel, an agent, and a bunch of new friends, writers and illustrators all! I expected to work hard, get my butt kicked in the process, and hopefully come out with a manuscript that might be viable.

I did not expect to emerge on the other side of the program with talented and loyal friends whose work I could celebrate and share, and who would share mine when the time comes. And so, when publication of Hazel Mitchell‘s new book Toby was announced, and she said she was looking for blogs to visit during the book’s launch, I asked the pandas if they would be interested in a visit, and they all said yes!

They also said, would Hazel bring cuppycakes and maybe a box of Binky Bars, and some boo beer, and I said I’d check. Pinky offered to interview Toby, and I said “yes”, although not without some trepidation. Pinky never does anything without some ulterior motives, and Toby is kind of a shy poodle, but she promised she would be kind, so I said okay. Don’t let me down, Pinky!

Keep reading, because at the end of this post, we are announcing how you can win a bunch of really cool stuff from Toby and Hazel!

It's good to have friends...even ones like Pinky!

It’s good to have friends…even ones like Pinky!

Princess Pinky: Today we have a very special guest at the Panda Chronicles! Welcome, Toby. I understand you are not a Panda.

Toby: I don’t think I’m a Panda. I don’t have any black spots. Except when I roll in the mud. Is a Panda a Poodle with black spots, kind of thing?

Hi, I'm Toby, and almost as cute as a panda!

Hi, I’m Toby, and almost as cute as a panda!

PP: No, we’re not poodles, although we’re fluffy like you are. We are much more special than that. So …what are you doing here?

Toby: I’m promoting. (Which is not as rude as it sounds.) I got a book. (Which is not a disease.) My people made it with a place called Candlewick Press. People are pretty useful in general. Especially with those can opener things. They are VERY good with those.

PP: I don’t know about can openers. hmmm…I’ll have to look into that.
Oh! Right! You have a new book coming out. Is it about me? I’m running for president, you know.



Toby: No! It’s about ME! But I hear you might be in a book, too? What’s President? Do you get treats? I like treats, pepperoni is best. Do you like pepperoni?

PP: I’m hoping when I am president, I can have any kind of treat I want. when I was a baby, mommee stole all my treats.  The president is like the boss of everyone and you have to do what they say.

So, if it’s not about me, could you tell us a little bit about your book?

Toby: Well, it’s 40 pages and it’s  paper and it costs $16.99. Oh wait, my people are saying you mean the STORY inside the book. Arf. So, it’s about me, but me with a different family (which is called fic-tion-al-i-zing, which is hard to say). There’s a boy and a dad and they’ve just moved house and the boy is lonely and he rescues me and I’m scared and I’m a bit naughty and dad is mad and I might have to go back to the shelter and that would be sad. My people say I just used too many conjunctions. I think that is uncalled for. I’m not an editor after all! I HAVE an editor, she is called Liz Bicknell and she sent me treats. So, she’s cool. WOOF!

PP: Do you mean to tell me that there are dogs and cats that no one wants?


So many dogs to choose from! Pandas never have to worry about being adopted!

Toby: People are very hard to understand sometimes. Everyone should want their dog or they shouldn’t be allowed to have them. Only sometimes things happen to the people and they can’t keep the dog and that’s sad, too. But cats, I completely get that. Only don’t let my people’s cat, Sleep, read this. He’s ok. Kind of. But, well, you know. Right?

PP: Well, I can tell you, that never happens with pandas, but I soooo agree about cats! I am having problems with a cat named Mittens, but I…um…fixed him good a few weeks ago. So tell us a little about your real life…who do you live with now?

From "Toby" by Hazel Mitchell, by permission of Candlewick Press

From “Toby” by Hazel Mitchell, by permission of Candlewick Press

Toby: Pandas must be VERY special. Almost as special as Poodles? I live with my people. There’s a girl people, called Hazel Mitchell, and a boy people, called Mike Mitchell. We live in a house in Maine. I have a step sister called Lucy. She’s MASSIVE. They say she’s a standard poodle, but a poodle that size is just unnatural. Anyway, we have this cat called Sleep. He does that a lot. Sleep, I mean, goes to Sleep. (Get it?) Sometimes he does it in my bed. That’s annoying and rude. Which is why I can understand people giving cats away. Right?

Sketches for Toby by Hazel Mitchell

Sketches for Toby by Hazel Mitchell

PP: Cats can be very rude and annoying! What’s your favorite food? mine is cuppycakes with honey frosting!

Toby: I think I said already, pepperoni. Weren’t you listening? Oh, are Pandas hard of hearing? Never knew that. Oh wait, you have buds in. No wonder you can’t hear me. I quite like cupcakes, but I like chocolate frosting. Which is bad for me, apparently. And I like burgers. Now I am dribbling. You got a tissue?

PP: You weren’t talking about me so I forgot to listen. Is there anything else you want the readers of the Panda Chronicles to know? You really should do something about the drooling thing, by the way!!

Toby: Always look after your dogs! And cats! And Pandas. Although I guess Pandas got it made. I heard that they fly first class. That must be some big bird they got for you guys. Hey, I also saw a weird video of Pandas dating online with a load of people with cameras watching. Isn’t that illegal?

PP: Yeah, pandas kinda got it made, except for maybe the endangered thing and loss of habitat, and some of those photographers are really rude! They sort of have shelters for pandas too, in China. We get to fly in planes with our picture on them and can have all the peanuts we want!

And , oh yeah…where can they buy your book?

Toby: They can buy it in all good bookstores. In the High Street, or the Mall or on the Interweb. Or just contact my people. That’s why I have ‘em. To sell my books. WOOF! You want to hang out again sometime, Princess? You’re kind of cute.

PP: Yeah! we should totally do lunch or something at the Pinky House when I am president. (after I am elected, I am having the White House painted pink!) I’ll have my people call your people. Thanks for coming today, Toby, and remember to vote for Pinky! The only panda you will ever want for president! And buy Toby’s book! Dog treats don’t grow on trees!

Hey fans of making America Fluffy again:

Toby has offered us some really great swag, not to mention a BOOK! and we thought we would have a little contest to see who gets it! So, you have a week to make a comment on this post, and we will do a random drawing of the names of all the commenters to see who gets all this great stuff! Comments must be made by Midnight PDT September 21, 2016. The stamp is really cool! Sorry to our readers outside the US. We can only ship to US addresses.

Oh man! Look at all this great swag!

Oh man! Look at all this great swag!


When a young boy and his father move from one house to another, they decide to adopt a dog from the local rescue shelter. But their chosen dog, Toby, is having a tough time adjusting to his new life outside the shelter—howling all night, hiding fearfully from his new humans, forgetting where to go to the bathroom, and chasing a ball through the flower bed. The boy has promised to train his new companion, and he’s trying his best, but Dad is starting to get exasperated. Will Toby ever feel comfortable with his new family and settle into his forever home, or will Dad decide he’s not the right dog for them after all?
A heartwarming story about the growing bond between a child and a new pet—inspired by the author’s experience with a rescue dog of the same name.

Bio: Hazel Mitchell has always loved drawing and still cannot be reliably left alone with a pencil. She has illustrated many books for children including Imani’s Moon, One Word Pearl, Animally and Where Do Fairies Go When It Snows? ‘Toby’ is her author-illustrator debut from Candlewick Press. Her work has received several awards and been recognized by Bank Street Books, Learning Magazine, Reading is Fundamental,  Foreword Reviews, NYCReads365, Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles Charlotte/Mecklenburg , Chicago and Maine State libraries among others. Originally from England, where she attended art-college and served in the Royal Navy, she now lives in Maine with her poodles Toby and Lucy and a cat called Sleep. She still misses British fish and chips, but is learning to love lobster. Find out more about her at http://www.hazelmitchell.com and is represented by Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown Ltd., NYC.

Links for Toby:



Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TgIF-6Yo1o

Buy it here http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780763680930 and here http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/toby-hazel-mitchell/1123282586.

A big thank you to Hazel  and Toby for coming by to visit us at The Panda Chronicles! Remember to pet your cat or dog (or panda) and if you are looking to give a forever home to a furry family member, check your local animal welfare group. Two of my favorites are The Whidbey Animal Improvement Foundation on Whidbey Island and the Whatcom Humane Society in Bellingham WA.

All images of Toby (the book) and Toby (the dog) are courtesy of Hazel Mitchell and Candlewick Press. Thanks guys!


It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. And with apologies to Charles Dickens, we seem to be living those times again. It is a day for remembering the events of 15 years ago, and a day for remembering that good things happened as well, on this day of sadness and terror brought home. Happy birthday Cami. Sorry this day will forever be wrapped in sadness. We can only go forward from here, and hope that enough people remember that they could embrace what is good instead of building walls against what is bad, because that really doesn’t work, now, does it?.

And of course, pandas have a lot to say about this.

Today is a good day to be the bear.

Today is a good day to be the bear.

And a note about Wednesday’s post; we have invited a special guest to join us here at The Panda Chronicles! Our friend Hazel Mitchell, who we met at the Nevada SCBWI Mentor program last year, has a new book out this week about a special furry friend of hers. Pinky has agreed to interview Toby, which, frankly, I don’t know how this is going to work. Pinky PROMISED she would be nice to Toby, but “Pinky-Nice” may not exactly be anyone else’s definition of “nice”. Let’s just cross our fingers and hope for the best! Pinky Promise my eye!

Hazel and Toby

Hazel and Toby

Be the Bear!

Fabulous Fabulous Furry Friday

By the time this goes to press, the new twins of Zoo Atlanta will hopefully be one whole week old. I say hopefully, because as fabulous a mom as Lun Lun is, and as wonderfully dedicated and competent as the whole panda support staff is, baby pandas are incredibly fragile and many things can still go wrong. I’m not trying to be Debby Downer here. These are the facts and Nature is a hard mother sometimes. But today, when the cubs are not even 12 hours old, we in the panda community are rejoicing, and nobody rejoices like a panda!

So let’s party like a panda!!!!!

There's nothing on earth that I'd rather do....

There’s nothing on earth that I’d rather do….

Mehitabel gets even.

Mehitabel gets even.

What makes a panda run? Cuppycakes, of course!!!!

What makes a panda run? Cuppycakes, of course!!!!

The panda kindergarten in las vegas hotel room

What happens in the panda kindergarten, STAYS in the panda kindergarten

Legalize cake today! Prevent illicit cuppycake activities.

Legalize cake today! Prevent illicit cuppycake activities.

One panda's disaster is another panda's delight!

One panda’s disaster is another panda’s delight!

Escape! Come with me, little cake, so we can be alone together.

Escape! Come with me, little cake, so we can be alone together.

Be sure to tune in on Sunday for a special ‘toon from all the junior pandas of the Panda Chronicles!

Be the Bear!
Bob T Panda