It’s now official. A book written by Beth Bacon and illustrated by yours truly will be released on September 6, but you can pre-order it now via Amazon. It’s called The Panda Cub Swapand it’s all about the birth of the first twin pandas born in the US who lived to young adulthood, Mei Lun and Mei Huan of Zoo Atlanta.
This book took almost 8 years to come into being. I met Beth through working on Pandamorphosis, and while the publisher she was working on at the time kind of crashed and burned, and did not ultimately participate in publishing Pandamorphosis, she helped to shape the book and we connected through our interest in writing for kids.
Fast forward a few years from working on Pandamorphosis. Beth was completing an MFA in writing for children at Vermont College of Fine Art. She needed a project, and she suggested we collaborate on a picture book, which hopefully we would be able to interest an agent or publisher. I suggested the story of Mei Lun and Mei Huan (aka the Meihems) since they were the first surviving twins born in the US and we were off to the races.
Well, if you think things are going to happen quickly and easily in publishing, you are going to be disappointed. The project had various moments of interest, then rejections, and we each got busy with other projects and put it aside. Sad, because we thought it could be a beautiful book, but there is a lot of “oh well, what might have been,” in publishing.
About 2 years ago, Beth called me and said she wanted to self publish the book and could she hire me to do the illustrations. I had some sketches from the early drafts, but really had to start from scratch other than the source photos that I had already saved. In the end, she decided to try once more to find a publisher who would be interested in the project and she finally did.
This was such a fun book to work on. She had lots of communication with the panda keepers at Zoo Atlanta, so that the story she told was accurate. I got to draw pandas! I know September seems like a long time to wait, but it will go faster than you think. Meanwhile, pre-orders really help to get the book more notice in a crowded field of children’s book, and help the publisher make a larger first printing. Over the months while we wait, I will occasionally tease you with an image for the book!
So let’s start with the cover:
But what about today’s ‘toon?!?!?!?!
Remember I said something about presents from the universe? There was this story on the mid week edition of Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me about a job posting for a Grizzly Bear Conflict Manager in Montana. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect job for Frank and Mikey? (MX: yes! It sounds perfect! Can I help you pack?)
Well, that’s all we have time for today! Alas, I think this job listing has already closed, but if Frank and Mikey are on the job, I’m sure there will be another opening *soon*!
Be the Bear! Buy my book!* Bob T Panda
okay, technically, it is Beth’s book, but I made the pictures!
BTW there are only 5 felty kitties remaining! See the Felties revisited page for all the details on ordering. If I’ve already made contact with you, your kitty is already reserved!
As I mentioned on Sunday, (did you read Sunday’s post? No? I’ll wait…) this April is the 50th anniversary of the arrival of pandas at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Long time panda fans remember the excitement of their arrival. And with the birth of Tai Shan to the second pair of pandas (also our current panda family) at the zoo, it seemed that the pinnacle of happiness had been reached!
And then in 2013 there was another arrival…
#ClapLouder for Pinky!
In 2015 bouncing big boy Bubba came along, and in 2020, one of the darkest years of the last several decades, our little miracle Bikkie arrived to cheer us all up!
I’m happy to report I finally got more ink cartridges for my printer. I never did figure out how to print with just the black and white ink when a color cartridge was empty. There are days when I really hate technology!
This means that little felted kitties will be headed out into the world this week! There are still 12 kitties remaining! Check out the Felties Revisited page for ordering information!
Someone might want to warn TFG to beware the Ides of March. Perhaps absconding with classified documents might be the very thing…
It continues to be amazing that TFG is continuously revealed to have done ever so many crime-y appearing things, and as yet has suffered no consequences for them. I hope this “so much winning” streak soon comes to an end!
There are a few more Pand-O-Lympics events to come next week, so stay ‘tooned! Also coming is an interview on ZooNooZ with Famed Bear about town Hank the Tank! Huzzah! I guess I have to make some felty Hank the Tanks!
I rely on my astute readers to alert me to important stories and this one is one of those stories. I mean, if I had made it up, y’all would be doing some serious eye rolling and questioning whether I had lost it.
At a school board meeting in Midland Michigan, a parent complained that she did not think the school should be encouraging students who think they are cats, by putting litter boxes in the (unisex) restrooms. A GOP state legislator posted her outrage on her Facebook page. The school principal was not amused. You can read the story here:
At least they put them in the unisex restrooms so that ANY cat could use them!
In other NooZ, we are VERY excited that the White House has finally fulfilled their most important campaign promise, which is, of course, to put a cat on the payroll! As to that other campaign promise, if you read my Twidder threads, you already know what I think. Oh wait… I can’t keep my mouth shut, which will not go well if the fascists take over. Personally, I think the GOP is afraid that by putting an intelligent, accomplished, COMPETENT, and experienced Black woman on the SCOTUS, she will show how unqualified all of TFG’s appointments are, not to mention the Representatives and Senators that are wetting their pants over the very idea.
And speaking of fascists between the book banning (can burning be far behind?), the nazi rallies, and the completely unreasonable demands on teachers, I am trying really hard to hold on to hope. Boy do I need a nap!
Keep being the Bear (while we can! No litter box for YOU!!!) Bob T Panda
I have often discussed my abiding adoration of the Bear of Little Brain (and no, I’m NOT talking about Bob!) so it was with great excitement and anticipation that I read that Winnie the Pooh had entered the public domain this year.
This means that anyone can include Pooh Bear and his friends, and representations thereof, in their own creative works! This only applies to the original A.A. Milne/ Earnest H. Shepard version, which is fine, since I have always considered the Big Mouse World version as a crime against art. My first introduction to the World of Pooh Bear was via the original (and far superior) black and white drawings. I still think they are what made me want to be an artist, and maybe led me to making stories with pandas.
Of course, there must be a commemorative ‘toon for the occasion!
We’ll have to wait a few more years for Tigger, as he first appears in the 1928 House at Pooh Corner, which is not yet in the public domain!
There wasn’t anything important happening today, was there?
I definitely considered not posting anything today, being the day that democracy almost went down the golden toilet, but then I decided we needed a little humor along with remembering that day, one year ago, it could have ended up a whole lot worse.
At this point, it is good to remember that the Republican Party didn’t think that shooting and killing 20 school children and their teachers was a sufficient reason to institute any kind of gun control, so why would we think that if members of Congress had been killed, that the GQP would have had any qualms about about tossing democracy in the dumpster.
I watched the commemoration of the anniversary as I worked today. Combined with the new information that has been released and what I watched in real time, it is clear that we came this ][ close to living under a vindictive dictator.
As I watch the GQP attempt to dismantle democracy, defund public libraries, constrain what teachers can teach their students, dismantle women’s reproductive rights, and deny a global pandemic, not to mention TFG’s role in allowing it to rage out of control and causing the deaths of almost a million Americans, I have to wonder what they think they will ultimately gain.
One thing you learn living on an island, is that everything is connected and we are all dependent on each other. Every once in a while I think about what would happen if the ferries stopped running and the bridge went down. within a week (probably less) we’d be out of gas, grocery store shelves would be stripped clean, and once the first wind storm hit, we’d lose electric power and we’d would descend into anarchy. The mainland could probably survive for about 2 weeks till it all went to shit.
Well…that took a dark turn…
What do you say we cut the first rant of the year short and get to the new ‘toon?
I promise we’ll have more fun here at The Panda Chronicles this year. Just maybe not today!