Saturday, February 21, 2015

Please Mr Panda by Steve Antony

Rating 2.5 out of 5
Age Range: 3 - 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (December 30, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545788927
ISBN-13: 978-0545788922

In case you haven't guessed I have a thing for panda's. So when I saw this book I was very keen to give it a go.

This book was cute but for me didn't really hit the nail on the head for the message it is advertised to promote of politeness. The Panda was a bit of a jerk asking his friends if they wanted a donut then saying they can't have any when they don't say please. Mr Panda never explains it's because they didn't say please, just saying "no you can't have it I changed my mind". I just felt as Mr Panda initially approached the friend and asked if they wanted a donut then, while a little rude the friends saying for example "yes a yellow one" was not totally out of bounds.  Personally I would have preferred Mr Panda to have explained this as he walked off "no you can't have one because you didn't say please" or something similar. Just saying "nope change my mind you cant have one" to me is just as rude as not saying please. Maybe I am being too harsh?

At the end of the story a kind little lemur says please and gets the reward. 

I think the author is pointing out that most toddlers are very quick to point out faults in others while perhaps doing the wrong thing themselves. However I felt this book could have easily made a more powerful moral statement by the panda simply saying "no you can't have a donut because you didn't say please".

The art work is cute and simple, and possibly the biggest saving grace of the book. It is not a bad if you don't look to closely. As a parent you could easily say "oh that animal didn't say please so they didn't get a donut".

I really wanted to like this book but for me it fell short even though it had lovely art work and a cute story line. If you get the book with out being fussed about the moral to the story part it probably will be more enjoyable.

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