Mrs. Harkness and the Panda

Mrs. Harkness and the Panda

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Traces the story of a 1930s female adventurer who brought America its first panda bear, describing how she inherited a seemingly impossible expedition from her explorer husband and defied period conventions to travel up the Yangtze River and into the wilderness to bring back an adorable panda cub she named Su Lin, which means "a little bit of something cute."
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2012], ©2012
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780375844485
Branch Call Number: 599.789 Po
Description: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Additional Contributors: Sweet, Melissa 1956-
Alternative Title: Mrs. Harkness & the panda


From Library Staff

A 1930s female adventurer brings America its first panda bear, by defying conventions to travel up the Yangtze River and into the wilderness to bring back a panda cub.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

forbesrachel May 17, 2015

Following the death of her husband, Mrs. Harkness decides to pick up his cause, setting out on an expedition to China. Her goal, to bring a panda back to America (it was thought to be a mythical creature by some at the time!). At every turn concerned parties tried to dissuade her, for women did not do such things in the 1930's. However, Mrs. Harkness was determined, and after much preparation, and with the help of locals like Yang Di Lin, she managed to find one. The baby panda, whom she named Su Lin, garnered the attention, love and concern of the world. This book acts like a journal for this adventure, with scraps of paper pasted in, brightly coloured illustrations of China, maps, and even some stamped postcards from the trip. The story could have been very endearing if the writing wasn't so stilted, still it is a seminal event in the history of conversation, and it does get that point across; the author's note in the back explains why. The panda is one of the cutest animals in the world, and if Mrs. Harkness had not done what she did, they would probably be extinct today. Worth reading for its information.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings

LibraryThing Series Information


Find it at CRRL

To Top