As you share this gem of a book, you will instantly realize this is no ordinary children’s picture book.  It is delightfully complex.  Your  children will be introduced to the parts of a story—setting, character, plot, conflict, and resolution—in a most  engaging manner, and the witty dialogue between the narrator and the panda is hilarious.



Deborah Underwood – Author
Hannah Marks – Illustrator


Every story needs a problem.
But Panda doesn’t have a problem.
Unless . . . Panda is the problem.

When a cheeky panda interrupts the story a narrator is trying to tell, we know it’s going to be good. The narrator needs the main character to have a problem; otherwise there will be no story. But Panda doesn’t have a care in the world. He’s not scared of spiders, he doesn’t want a friend, and he doesn’t wish to be green. 🙂

Being a narrator should be straightforward: introduce and establish the main character …“Once upon a time there was a panda who lived in a beautiful bamboo grove”.  Then set the dramatic tension in motion ….“But the panda had a BIG problem” and finally, solve the problem—end of story. 


But what happens when the protagonist refuses to play along?

“Looks like you’re the one with the problem, buddy,” says Panda.

You will notice there are two distinct voices. Panda’s words are always in cartoon-style speech bubbles, and those by the Narrator look like regular text on the page, which gives the words an adult, authorial seriousness to them.

Panda explains that they have no problems…. their view from atop the bamboo tree is great, there’s plenty to eat, and the day is sunny. When the narrator explains to the panda that they are the main character and that they need to overcome a problem, because “that’s how stories work,” the panda suggests that the narrator become the problem instead!

The panda then begins a series of activities to frustrate the narrator, ranging from the merely obnoxious (playing the banjo really badly) to downright outrageous (introducing a second, equally problematic panda into the story).

On the back cover, Panda is smirking after drawing a line through the floating headline NO PROBLEMNO STORY and rewriting it as NO STORYNO PROBLEM!


How About Drawing Your Own Panda?

I’m pretty sure you can look at my drawing and create your own.

1.  My Panda is mostly made of circles……one large white circle for his head, two black circles for his ears, a little one for his nose.

2.  Panda’s eyes are large black ovals with little white circles and small black pupils.

3. Panda’s mouth can be a circle or a sideways moon.

4.  I drew a simple shape for his shoulders.

5.  For your bamboo, use paint or paper (cut and glued) in several colors of green.


Cut out a conversation bubble….”I Don’t Have Any Problems”

OR…..create your own message.  🙂