Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 30th 2014 by Scholastic Press (first published December 27th 2014)
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
Patiently and politely, Mr. Panda asks the animals he comes across if they would like a doughnut. A penguin, a skunk, and a whale all say yes, but they do not remember to say "please" and "thank you." Is anyone worthy of Mr. Panda's doughnuts?
Steve Antony has captured a cute panda, delightful animals hungry for doughnuts, and a manners lesson. With the black-and-white animals, plain backgrounds, and brightly colored doughnuts, Antony's art is bold, striking, and engaging.
Author/illustrator Steve Antony introduces us to Mr. Panda, a stocky-looking character with a delicious-looking box of donuts. Readers follow him as he encounters a range of animals, from a penguin to skunk to whale - all of whom ask for donuts, but forget the magic words. It's not until that Mr. Panda encounters a lemur, that we finally get the key lesson: a simple "please" will always yield the greatest reward.
Antony's writing and illustrations in Please, Mr. Panda are both delightful. Antony uses short sentences and brief dialogue that helps keep readres engaged, while the colorful drawings against the book's gray background keeps imaginations going. This book is perfect for readers aged four and up, who can easily absorb the joy, humor and value of Antony's rich tale.
Bottom line: In a brief 32 pages, author and illustrator Steve Antony has written a delightful tale on the importance of having manners, and how those who learn how to say "please" and "thank-you", will inevitably yield pleasing (and tasty-looking!) rewards.
Parents and older readers will appreciate the book's clever underlying focus on manners, but will likely also be bemused by Steve Antony's slightly droll take on Mr. Panda. Younger readers will take joy in the menagerie of animals that cross the titular character's path, but also benefit from a manners lesson that doesn't feel like a chore.