#PPBF: Peter Panda Melts Down – Dealing With Temper Tantrums

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday – I review a picture book, provide a simple fun craft you can do with your kids and then I link up with dozens of other writers, moms, librarians and other lovers of picture books on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.


I recently connected with the author of today’s selection…Artie Bennett is super funny and super talented…so it’s not surprising that his new book is super awesome as well! My grandson was repeating the refrain after the first couple of pages…and gave the book an enthusiastic thumbs up.



Written by Artie Bennett

Illustrations by John Nez

Publisher: Blue Apple Books (2014)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes: Expressing feelings, appropriate behavior, temper tantrums


Opening Lines:

“Let’s meet the Pandas. Here’s Peter. He’s three! And Mama, who calls, “Climb down from that tree!”



From the author:

“Uh-oh. Here it comes. Here comes that frown. Peter Panda melts dowwwnnn!”

     Poor Peter Panda. He’s only three and filled with frustration. And when things don’t quite go his way, he’s apt to throw a tantrum—in the car, in the library, in the supermarket, in the . . . He’s the most meltdownable panda we know.

     Poor Mama Panda. How can she cope with Peter’s petulance while seeking to sidestep the mother of all meltdowns herself!? What’s a mama panda to do?



Why I like this book:

  • Bold vivid illustrations- I love the expressions on the pandas’ faces!
  • Wonderful message about learning to express our feelings and, control our behavior…it is so important to let young kids know that this is a problem everyone deals with.
  • I read it to my grandson – he LOVED it – and was repeating the refrain before we were half-way through the book!
  • My youngest son (now 37 years old) was just such a Peter…and his name is actually…PETER! I think I need to buy another copy for him to read to his precious one-year old daughter who will not, hopefully, be prone to meltdowns.

How a parent can use this book:

  • Talk about feelings and behavior.
  • Role play different scenarios.

Have you seen Artie’s other books? They are hilarious!


Want to know more about Artie?Here’s the ‘poop’…straight from the horse’s mouth:

Artie Bennett is the executive copy editor for a children’s book publisher and he writes a little on the side (but not the backside!).

Artie, who would be hailed as “the Dr. Seuss of your caboose,” wrote The Butt Book, his first “mature” work, which published in 2010. The Butt Book was showered with praise and won the prestigious Reuben Award for Book Illustration. His “number two” picture book, fittingly, was entitled Poopendous! What more fertile topic could there be but poop!

Poopendous! earned a bumper crop of great reviews, including this one in the Huffington Post: “For anyone who loved The Butt Book, you must immediately go and buy Artie Bennett’s follow-up, Poopendous! It appears there is no topic Mr. Bennett can’t make funny and educational.” The Show Me Librarian weighed in with: “Bennett’s use of rhyme is excellent; his stanzas flow and exude joviality in a manner that few writers since Dr. Seuss have truly mastered. Simply put, these books are a joy.”

His third picture book, the much-anticipated Peter Panda Melts Down!, illustrated by the virtuosic artist John Nez, published in February 2014.

Artie was the youngest (at age thirteen) person to originate and sell a crossword puzzle to the New York Times. He went on to sell several dailies and two large Sunday puzzles to the Times before he began college. It’s been downhill ever since.

He and his wife, Leah, live deep in the bowels of Brooklyn, New York, where he spends his spare time moving his car to satisfy the rigorous demands of alternate-side-of-the-street parking and shaking his fist at his neighbors.

He is pleased to share the visionary promise of The Butt Book, Poopendous!, and Peter Panda Melts Down! with a wider audience.

His fourth picture book, the uproarious Belches, Burps, and Farts—Oh My!, will publish in August 2014.

Visit ArtieBennett.com . . . before someone else does!

When I read Artie’s bio, I did a lot of laughing…and a huge amount of head-nodding. I, too, lived in Brooklyn, NY…and, as a teacher, had to drive around the neighborhood of the school for 30 minutes, just to find an ILLEGAL parking spot…the ‘legal’ spaces having been taken by neighborhood residents. At any time during the day, teachers had to be ready to fly out of their rooms to repark their cars if tickets were being given out…talk about stress.

Related Activities:



Photo courtesy http://www.activityvillage.co.uk

You will need a paper plate (gotta love those paper plates…such wonderful craft materials), construction paper, scissors, glue, markers.

  1. Cut 2 medium sized circles for eyes and 2 larger ones for ears and a small triangle for the nose.
  2. Glue on the features.
  3. Cut a hole in each eye circle.
  4. Add mouth with marker.
  5. Let your child use the mask to role play – for example: what happens when you are in the store and your child wants a candy bar and you say ‘no’?
  6. For many more panda crafts: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/panda-crafts


SIX Ways to Avoid Meltdowns with Young Kids

  1. Give your child a heads-up: When it is time to leave (the park, the library, etc.), tell your child that he can take two more slides or look at three more pages in the book and then it will be time to go.
  2. Speak in a matter-of-fact tone: Don’t plead with your child or yell at your child…use a tone of voice that is pleasant, yet firm.
  3. Give your child something to look forward to: Mention the next activity on the agenda…having happy face pancakes for lunch, picking apples at an orchard, reading a favorite book when you get home.
  4. Keep an eye on the time: If it is way past your child’s usual naptime or lunch or dinnertime, meltdowns may be due to that.
  5. Be CONSISTENT. This is perhaps the most important tip…kids are oh so clever and observant and perseverant…if they succeed at something even occasionally, they will NEVER GIVE UP. If they KNOW that NO means NO, they will be less likely to try.
  6. If all else fails, stay calm, take your child by the hand (or pick him up) and leave the store, park or library.


Stay tuned for a special Father’s Day post on Sunday…and then a week from Saturday, on June 21st, please stop by for Will Write for Cookies…the spotlight will be on author, Anne Marie Pace. I’ll also have a few words about Kristen Fulton’s Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge that will be starting that day. There’s still time to sign up…you’ll find inspiration and information about writing non-fiction picture books…and lots of GREAT PRIZES: http://www.kristenfulton.org/wow–nonficpic.html

And a big thank you to Artie for the final picture…quite appropriate for the END of this post, wouldn’t you say?

ButtBook CMYK

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on June 12, 2014, in Artie Bennett, Crafts for kids, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Peter Panda Melts Down, temper tantrums and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Looks like a fun book; I could’ve used this book when my kids were younger, too. (Or maybe I can still use it; sometimes they still have meltdowns!) Thanks for sharing, Vivian! How neat you were able to contact Artie.


    • I think we all deal with meltdowns at one time or another, Tina. 🙂 I’m happy you like the book. It was cool because Artie actually contacted me to see if I wanted to do a review of his book…when I read it, I was so glad I had said yes..I loved it! And I’m looking forward to seeing his other books.


  2. Such a great cover! You can see that meltdown look in the panda’s eyes. Ha, I think you should send a copy to your son Peter. I’ve only been introduced to Artie’s books, and I love his titles and sense of humor. Panda’s meltdown will be a winner with parents. Like your suggestions to help with a meltdown. Will look forward to Artie’s next book. His upcoming release will go over big with kids.


  3. Sounds like a fun book and useful for me, given I have a 3-year old :). I’ll be looking out for this book!


  4. I like that paper plate. And John Nez’s illustrations, but that goes without saying!


  5. Good golly, Miss Molly. I love this art by John Nez! I might melt down if I can’t find a copy of this book. Thanks.


  6. That Mr Bennett sounds like my kind of guy!! I haven’t seen any of these books! How have i missed them?! Thanks for sharing – books and fun and more paper plate magic!


  7. This one looks great too – fun illustrations, and a message MANY can use! Thanks.


  8. I love this book! Mr. Bennett is an awesome guy, too! 😀


  9. You are such a tease, Vivian! I have to find the book to learn the catchphrase. Not that any kids I know would have meltdowns. :))


  10. Great choice, Vivian. Artie’s upcoming book will be interesting as I have come across hilarious NZ books about farting, belching etc…. and wondered if there were any overseas ones. Love the illustrations and Artie sounds quite a character himself. :).


    • Farting, belching and pooping…such popular subjects for lots of kids. 🙂 🙂 My grandson is five now…and just getting into the hysterical laughter phase when those words are mentioned. Glad you liked the book, Diane.


  11. I love that your son shares a name … and a few traits … with this character. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Always love having you there!


  1. Pingback: PB 14:14 – Day 3 – Top 10 Picture Book Story Elements – Character | Picture Books Help Kids Soar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Polilla Writes

reading, writing, celebrating the written word

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Michelle Eastman Books

Kid Lit Author and Advocate


about reading, writing & thinking children's books

Laura Boffa: Write of Way

Giving the way of writing the right of way


A Gallery of New Picture Book Talent

EMU's Debuts

From Deal to Debut: the Path to Publication

Wander, Ponder, Write

A KidLit Journey...

Picture Book House

reviews and stories about parenting with picture books

Pernille Ripp

Teacher. Author. Creator. Speaker. Mom.

Norah Colvin

Live Love Laugh Learn . . . Create the possibilities

Gathering Books

Singapore | United States of America | Philippines

Beth Anderson, Children's Writer

Reader, Writer, Miner of Moments

Susanna Leonard Hill

Children's Author

The Stinky Backpack

Traveling the Everyday World

The Runaway Palate

Food. Travel. Cooking. Random musings. Maybe some historical stuff.

The Reader and the Book

"O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught." Ralph Waldo Emerson


Authors & Illustrators Wild About Kidlit!

One Good Thing

Teresa Robeson's 365-Day project

Tracy Campbell

Heart for Ewe Publishing

kidsbook friends

Check out this blog about children's books!

Mary Jo Beswick

Artist - Children's Book Author & Illustrator - Teacher

Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

Children's Writer


READING: like dancing in your brain

Friendly Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages

Lauri Fortino's Frog On A (B)log

Sharing and Celebrating Picture Books Since 2009

Stacy S. Jensen

Reader | Writer | List Maker

Reading With Rhythm

book reviews from Rhythm the Library Dog

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Nerdy Chicks Write

Get it Write this Summer!

Laura Sassi Tales

Celebrating writing, reading, and life.

Erika Wassall here... The Jersey Farm Scribe

Author, Freelance Writer, Entreprenur... LIVER of life

Angie Karcher

Writing Children's Books

Chapter Book Chat

A Writer Reviews Chapter Books, by Marty Mokler Banks

The Blabbermouth Blog

Literary Agent Linda Epstein's Yakkety Yakking

The Waiting

Turns out, it's not the hardest part.

%d bloggers like this: