Please, Mr. Panda
by Steve Antony
I recently read Please, Mr. Panda to my storytime kids, and they totally loved it!
I came across this book at my local Barnes and Noble. It was featured as book of the month, so I had to check it out. I immediately fell in love with this book after reading it! It was short, had beautiful artwork, and most importantly, it had a powerful message.
Please, Mr. Panda is a beautiful book about doughnuts and manners. The story is about a Panda that has a box full of delicious doughnuts and goes around asking his animal friends if they would like to have one. Most of the animals say yes but forget to say “please” and “thank you”, and one of them even says no in a very rude manner.
At first I thought the panda was being rude because it seemed that he was teasing the other little animals. He would offer them doughnuts and when they said yes, he would say he didn’t want to give them anymore. I then realized the animals were being a little rude! Way to go Mr. Panda, teach the rude ones a lesson about manners.
I really enjoyed the illustrations because they were large and easy to view from a couple of feet away, which is perfect for my storytime. The colors of the illustrations are mostly in black and white except for the doughnuts, which were very colorful. This is an awesome metaphor because the colorful doughnuts represent what you get when you have manners and are nice to others, which is getting a colorful life of politeness & kindness!
I like to ask engaging questions to my storytime children when reading to them. In this case, every time the panda would change his mind I would ask: “Why did the panda change his mind when trying to give them doughnuts” and to my surprise, one little girl yelled “ITS BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T SAY PLEASE!” She was very thrilled and she was so confident that she had the correct answer (she did haha). I replied with “Oh good guess, let’s see what’s gonna happen!”
In the end, a cute little lemur says “Please, Mr. Panda?” and I asked my kids to say please with me to Mr. Panda. I did a countdown, 1 – 2 – 3! and all the kids screamed with me “PLEASE MR. PANDA!!” It was awesome.
I always have a craft session with my kids after storytime, and I always link the craft to the book. I created a Panda craft to go along with this book. This craft was extremely simple for the kids to make and the parents also loved it, since they had no trouble helping their kids assembling the craft. The kids seemed to definitely love this craft! They were playing with each others pandas and they were even making roaring sounds with their pandas, which i’m not quite sure that pandas do roar, but… I guess my storytime pandas do.
If you would like to add this book to your collection, you can purchase it here.
The first two steps must be done by an adult.
1. Print Mr. Panda craft template on construction paper. You will need a black page and a white page. You might need to check in what order your printer prints, so that way you can place the pages in the correct order. If you do not have colored construction paper, you can always print them on regular paper and have them color the legs, ears and arms with a black crayon.
2. Cut Mr. Panda craft along the grey line. Cut inside of the line so that there are no grey marks left after cutting. You don’t have to be perfect. Most kids will still love their craft!
The last two steps are for the little ones!
3. Let the kids glue Mr. Panda craft together, assist them if they need help, but remember, it’s their craft! It’s totally OK If they want to glue the ears or legs or arms on the ‘incorrect’ part of the panda, if that’s what they wish to do. They need to be able to express their creative freedom!
4. (optional) Kids LOVE glitter, adding glitter to Mr. Panda will make the kid’s craft unique and will allow them to express their creativity.