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  Chinese Way>Life

From the panda's mouth

2013-11-05 10:23:49

(China Daily)


Tan Kai, the author, says he believes among numerous books introducing the creature, his work is unique because it could be the first time that a panda has taken the role of a first-person narrator.

"The first-person narration connects the readers with pandas instantly," Tan says, "making the readers feel for the pandas."

Yin Chuan, editor with the publisher, says the colorful book attracted huge interest from international publishers who visited their stands during the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair in mid-October. More than 200 precious pictures add value to the book, she says.

They're either old pictures of high historic value or rare beautiful photographs provided by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Yin says.

"Nothing has survived the long-term transformation of nature and history like the pandas, and that's why they are widely adored," Tan says.

Tan, born in 1943 in Sichuan province, makes a name as the Panda Writer for the numerous fiction and nonfiction works he has created in 33 years of tracking down the pandas' footprints with experts and research teams, covering all reserves in the province.

"I was there in many cases. Those experiences make my books on pandas like fresh dishes served hot, not the cold dishes that are reheated," says Tan metaphorically.

He is the executive editor of bilingual magazine Giant Panda, and took part in launching "Panda TV" on website

Tan says he has written about almost all aspects of the pandas. But one day in the Chengdu research base when he was invited to stay in the cubs' nursery room, he witnessed how a mother panda took pains in taking care of her new-born baby.

"The mother's loving but tired eyes caught me," he says. The renewed affection inspired Tan to write a new book, emphasizing a mother panda's love.

"Hello, I'm a panda How warm and safe I feel in my mother's arms! But, mom has no time to rest Mom always tends to me as I cry. I know she wants me to be more comfortable Mom has not had anything to eat or drink for more than 10 days These are tired eyes, wanting to close at any time. But the power of love makes them remain open and hold on."

Tan explains the hardship of raising up a panda cub with "mom's melancholy eyes" and the love that "brought forth 8 million years of pandas' family history".

He goes on in the book to explain why and offers the latest discovery of scientific research on the giant pandas.

"Mother pandas find it hard to take care of the kids because usually they are 1,000 times heavier than their children in weight," Tan says.

"The smallest panda cub is about 51 grams. With an under-developed mouth, it can only be fed with drops of milk from a needle," he adds.

One paper published in 2011 discloses more information, Tan says.

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