Arto has lived his whole life in the snowy, cold North, and six years is a long time. When his mom gets a new job and the family prepares to spend a year in the South, Arto is not happy at all. He decides that he’s just going to act as if he never moved. In the new Southern landscape of prickly plants, strange birds and a big, hot sun, Arto stubbornly dons his winter uniform of boots, mittens, coat, and hat, day after day. It’s worth the stuffy, sweaty, overheated feeling if he can pretend he’s still in the North.
Living in a new house and about to start at a new school, Florence feels sad that all her friends are a long way away. So, she decides to write a letter to the panda who lives in the zoo next door to her new house, asking him to be her friend. Happily, he obliges. Soon, when Flo is asked to stand up in front of her whole class and talk about any special friends she has, it only seems right to tell everyone about Panda, and for him to come for a visit.