book: “Please, Mr. Panda” by Steve Anthony


i love going to story time. sometimes you get to hear books you know read to you and hear it in a different voice. sometimes you are introduced to books that you didn’t know to pick up — for no other reason than there are so many books in the store!

i’m so glad we made it to story time that day to learn about Please, Mr Panda! the conversations between Mr. Panda and the animals he offers doughnuts to are direct and to the point but is also suspenseful as you wonder why he changes his mind!

i have read it to k several times already. k enjoys hearing it, naming each animal, and calling out the colors of the doughnuts. the pictures are adorable yet simple. the story has a great lesson about manners. it is also fun to read aloud especially if you give the appropriate personality to each animal. i’m so glad i was introduced to this book and look forward to sharing it with k over and over again!

July ’15 Update: “Go Away”

it has been almost 6 months since i introduced the little one to Please Mr. Panda and it has been a learning one. k continues to love the book but we hit a bump. if you’ve read this or any book or have been in a situation that challenges you to teach another a lesson, sometimes you introduce what SHOULDN’T be said/done to teach what should be said/done. unfortunately sometimes what is learned is what shouldn’t be said. in our case it was the words “go away.

after reading the book for a month or two, k started to say “go away” to us whenever we needed to do something k didn’t like — and as a toddler, that was often. perhaps it was my fault – when reading the book to k, i usually act out the words and when Mr. Ostrich said “go away”, i made it sound haughty. as with any other words that are given “personality,” it stuck in k’s memory. k learned what “go away” meant and how to use it against us.

but as in any lesson, you just have to keep finding different ways to teach.

  1. i followed up that scene with how Mr. Ostrich was not being nice and what he could have said was “No thank you”. while this did teach k to say “no thank you”, it didn’t stop k from saying “go away” to us when k did not want something.
  2. i took away a small reward if k said it to anyone.
  3. 3 strikes – if k said it once, take away small reward (#2 above); if k said it twice, no toy during bath time; and if k said it thrice, i wouldn’t read the book to k that day.

it turns out 3 strikes method – especially strike #3 is what got k to stop. k loved the book so much that the idea of not hearing the story was too hard to bear. at the end of the day, k would ask for “Mr. Panda book” and then say “no say go away”.

it may have taken 2 months for the lesson to sink in but we are enjoying the book together again. it is not a book to go away anytime soon.


1. author’s website: Steve Antony

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