Category Archives: Fun with Pandas

Pinky is not going to like this

So what else is new? Am I really supposed to spend all my days trying to write stories that are all about Pinky all the time? I thought as a writer that I had at least a little bit of free will and discretion about what my stories are about. And really, Pinky, if you think that my stories are making you look bad, you could…oh, I don’t know…maybe behave a little better and not tease your brother so much?

What was I thinking!!!!??? We are talking about PINKY here!!!!

Pinky

Commence propeller spin…now!

By the way, if you haven’t seen it yet, pop over to the Froggwell Blog and check out my post about creating…um…forgeries of my other favorite bear!

Panda On!!
Bob T Panda

Finale: KittySue and the Three Pandas

Oh my! What a dramatic ending after a wild ride! Do not mess with pandas! You will be sorry. Pandas are not joking around (or so I’ve heard.)

Nothing like drying laundry in the sun to get rid of …um…unpleasant stains and odors. Pandas take note.

pandas

What a lovely day for the 3 pandas to relax at home!

If you want to read all of the KittySue and the Three Pandas story from the beginning, start here!

Panda Satire update!

I want to give you, my long suffering  most loyal fans a heads up. In barely a months time I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise some of the money for a trip to China, that has been in the… what if…should we,… hey, do you want to… stages of planning for going on about 2 years. Yes, Bob T Panda is going to go to China and frolic with toddler pandas.

This will be both a fine art and panda satire expotition, and besides frolicking with baby pandas, I will be busy sketching and photographing not only pandas, but also the landscape, architecture and people of China. I generally come back from a trip like this with renewed creativity, and a barrel full of source material.

Stay tuned for project launch news! I’m expecting to be ready to launch the project by June 7th.

One of my traveling companions having lunch with a friend. Picture me, Bob T, doing this very thing! Thanks Cami!

Panda On!
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

Toby!!!!

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?

Toby

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!

Synopsis:

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:

http://www.hazelmitchell.com/toby

tweet@meetTobyhttp://www.facebook.com/meettoby/

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!

To Bee, or not to Bee…that is the bear!

The path of creativity is usually a twisting path.  You just never know what thing you see or read or hear, that will spark a connection, and I am no exception to this process.  For instance, my Scottish Panda cartoons, which had some Shakespearian inspiration, in turn sparked my brother’s imagination and resulted in his 31 plays in 31 days project, The Scottish Panda Plays.

When David Neel Of Island Apiaries offered an add on bonus of honey to my Kickstarter project (now in it’s last 6 days! Visit it before it’s too late!) I started thinking about bees and bears and how they both started with the letter ‘B’ and came up with Bee, the Bear.  (OK, it seemed like an obvious connection to me!) Bee was an instant hit when I posted her picture on facebook and so I decided (well, actually, she insisted) to make a poster for her.

Bee, the Bear.

Meanwhile our Kickstarter project is at 80% with only 6 more days to go!  If you’ve already supported it, many, many thanks (and tell all your humor loving friends) and if you haven’t you know what to do!

Bee, the Bear says Be the Bear!

Bob T. Panda

If you’ve already seen this cartoon run away now!

Since not everyone who visits here has visited our Kickstarter page, (hint, hint)  I am running the cartoon I used as the update yesterday here.

Thanks to all who come here to play with bears!  With your help, we can send the panda kindergarten home to live with you.  (“Wait..um…did you say the panda kindergarten was coming to MY house?  Um… I’m going to be out of …um the universe for…a while.”)

But before we get to our feature presentation, may we send out a big pandy congratulations to my brother, who just completed the 31 plays in 31 days challenge, writing plays based on (are you ready?) The Scottish Panda Cartoons!  Huzzah!  You can read all about it at his blog, Exit, Pursued by a Lark  http://chasbelov.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/the-world-is-now-31-plays-erm-richer/#comment-801/  I just about spit out my coffee, just reading the titles.

And now, for much ado about pandas,

 Huzzah!

So, will there be panda cartoons of the Scottish Panda Plays?  I hope so!   I’ll have my people call your people..or is that my bears call your bears?  We’ll do lunch.

Be the Bear!

Bob T. Panda

oh yes, here is the obligatory kickstarter link:

http:/www.kickstarter.com/projects/arttraveler/your-brain-on-pandas-book-1-of-the-panda-chronicle

 

Who says we’re silly?

We do, that’s who.  Silly is what pandas do best, and if you don’t believe me, watch an actual panda video with real toddler pandas.

So for your weekend entertainment, we have the panda kindergarten singing their run-away (meaning, that when people hear it, they run away) hit from the most famous panda musical of all times, “Panda on the Roof.”  Of course I am referring to that haunting melody, “If I were a Panda.”

So, you know how sometimes you get a song stuck in your head, and you can’t get it out, and it’s usually something that is REALLY annoying?  Well, this is one of those songs.  So whatever you do…DO NOT START SINGING THIS SONG ALONG WITH THE PANDA KINDERGARTEN.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

…if I were a panda, yadda dah dah da- da- da- AAARGH! I can’t stop!!!!!

 

I’ve been told that the ONLY way to STOP singing this song, is to go to my Kickstarter site and make a pledge to order a copy of this book.  See the link at the right or click on the one below!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/arttraveler/your-brain-on-pandas-book-1-of-the-panda-chronicle

Be the Bear!

Bob T. Panda

You may be wondering…..

…about that little box that has a countdown to “Project Launch Day”  (which is at 15 days, even as we speak)

But what does it all mean?

Well, oh lovers of panda satire, it means that I finally have enough panda cartoons to self publish some actual printed books of The Panda Chronicles!

Pandas have long been active in literary pursuits

So, having had one successful Kickstarter project under my belt for a fine art printmaking project, I decided that the time has come to let the pandas take the stage!  Huzzah!

My cunning plan is to make it a fairly modest project, so that if I only get enough funding to do the first book, I will be able to take the time necessary to finish formatting the cartoons for print, do all the book-y stuff that I’ll have to do to make The Panda Chronicles Book 1: Your Brain on Pandas a reality.

But….

If I get overwhelming support, so that I go above and beyond my goal amount, it means that I can do all three books for whichI already have completed cartoons RIGHT NOW THIS VERY MINUTE.

But what can I do to help?”  I hear you all saying in the background?  Well, of course I will be exceedingly grateful to any of you who choose to pledge at whatever level you can afford.  Even a whole bunch of $1 pledges move me closer to my goal (and make me look really popular to the Kickstarter staff.)  But what would help a lot, is if all of you who love panda satire the way we do it here, would tell all your friends about my project.  Now, I’m not launching it for two more weeks, because I still have some pieces of the proposal to get into place, but don’t worry, I’ll remind you.  In the meantime, there are still a few Panda Olympic events that need to happen, so keep tuning in.

Here’s what my project profile picture will be, so you know what to look for….

And of course, the panda kindergarten can’t WAIT to help with this project…..

Be the Bear!

Bob T. Panda

Somewhere in London, the pandas wait for the torch bears!

The opening ceremonies have begun…the pandas are at the starting post, poised by the pool, practicing pandanastics pirouettes….The glory of Pandyland is at stake. They have one goal on their minds……

Cuppycakes (or in this case, cookies.)

Huzzah!

 

Going for the …um…chocolate chip.

Happy Saturday!

Be the Bear!

Bob. T. Panda

 

News Flash! Bob T. Panda travels to London!

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, One of Bob T.’s representatives was invited, quite on the spur of the moment, to travel to London with his good friend Suzanne S.  We had stopped into to visit her at her Sunday job, working at Brackenwood Gallery, in beautiful Langley, WA.

“I thought you were already in London,” I said.

“No, I leave tomorrow!” replied Suzanne.  “Maybe Mini-Bob would like to join me on my trip.”

So then, Mini-Bob and I had to have a conversation about what he would do in London.  Perhaps a visit to the National Portrait Gallery to see Beatrix Potter’s portrait.  “I’m definitely NOT going to Tate Modern,” said Mini-Bob, “but I would like to go and see the wonderful Pre-Raphaelaite paintings at Tate Britain.  Babette gets to go everywhere, and I really need to check up on the torch bears, and maybe Suzanne will take me to Edinburgh to visit Sunshine and Sweetie.  I could give them some ‘pointers’ for next year.”

I suggested that Mini-Bob not get too up close and personal with the Scottish pandas, as they might accidentally think he was a cuppycake, as he is small and round, and quite sweet looking.  He promised he would be careful, and also that he would write a journal of his trip, and send them to me via email from his mephone.

I think it's high time that SOMEONE checks up on the torch bears

 

We’ve already received his first communication, sent from his seat (in first class, no less) on his Pand-Air flight to London:

“Hi everyone! Here I am on Pand-Air flight 999 to London Heathrow!  It’s really fun sitting in First Class.  I should add that my hostess on the trip, Suzanne, was not able to fly in first class, but the flight attendants assure me that they will make sure I don’t get left behind when we get off the plane in London.  I was planning on sharing Suzanne’s seat, but when the flight attendants saw me, they INSISTED I ride in front.  When we get over the ocean, and there is no chance of hitting anything, they said they’d even let me fly the plane for a little bit.  After all, everyone loves pandas.  They just can’t do enough for me!

BTW, going through security was a breeze.  Since pandas don’t wear clothes (Babette excepted) they could see I didn’t have anything not permitted with me, so they waved me through, although all the agents wanted to frisk me, as I am so cute.  I’ll write again tomorrow!  This is so exciting!”

Of course I should mention that Suzanne is now an esteemed member of the Roll of Honor, for her generous offer to take Mini-Bob with her on this trip.  I hope they will send pictures of Mini-Bob as he takes Britain by storm!

Be the Bear!

Bob T. Panda

News Flash! Bob T. Panda travels to London!

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, One of Bob T.’s representatives was invited, quite on the spur of the moment, to travel to London with his good friend Suzanne S.  We had stopped into to visit her at her Sunday job, working at Brackenwood Gallery, in beautiful Langley, WA.

“I thought you were already in London,” I said.

“No, I leave tomorrow!” replied Suzanne.  “Maybe Mini-Bob would like to join me on my trip.”

So then, Mini-Bob and I had to have a conversation about what he would do in London.  Perhaps a visit to the National Portrait Gallery to see Beatrix Potter’s portrait.  “I’m definitely NOT going to Tate Modern,” said Mini-Bob, “but I would like to go and see the wonderful Pre-Raphaelaite paintings at Tate Britain.  Babette gets to go everywhere, and I really need to check up on the torch bears, and maybe Suzanne will take me to Edinburgh to visit Sunshine and Sweetie.  I could give them some ‘pointers’ for next year.”

I suggested that Mini-Bob not get too up close and personal with the Scottish pandas, as they might accidentally think he was a cuppycake, as he is small and round, and quite sweet looking.  He promised he would be careful, and also that he would write a journal of his trip, and send them to me via email from his mephone.

I think it's high time that SOMEONE checks up on the torch bears

 

We’ve already received his first communication, sent from his seat (in first class, no less) on his Pand-Air flight to London:

“Hi everyone! Here I am on Pand-Air flight 999 to London Heathrow!  It’s really fun sitting in First Class.  I should add that my hostess on the trip, Suzanne, was not able to fly in first class, but the flight attendants assure me that they will make sure I don’t get left behind when we get off the plane in London.  I was planning on sharing Suzanne’s seat, but when the flight attendants saw me, they INSISTED I ride in front.  When we get over the ocean, and there is no chance of hitting anything, they said they’d even let me fly the plane for a little bit.  After all, everyone loves pandas.  They just can’t do enough for me!

BTW, going through security was a breeze.  Since pandas don’t wear clothes (Babette excepted) they could see I didn’t have anything not permitted with me, so they waved me through, although all the agents wanted to frisk me, as I am so cute.  I’ll write again tomorrow!  This is so exciting!”

Of course I should mention that Suzanne is now an esteemed member of the Roll of Honor, for her generous offer to take Mini-Bob with her on this trip.  I hope they will send pictures of Mini-Bob as he takes Britain by storm!

Be the Bear!

Bob T. Panda