Thank You, Mr Panda by Steve Antony

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Thank You, Mr Panda by Steve Antony

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A lesson on how to be graceful upon receiving an unwanted gift...or just a silly story about some animals!
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 32 Date: January 2017
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781444927856

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Mr Panda is back! And this time, rather than his box of doughnuts, he has a large pile of presents for all of his friends. Accompanied by his friend, the ring-tailed Lima, he goes around giving out the presents, whilst Lima helpfully reminds everyone on the receiving end that it's the thought that counts since it turns out that Mr Panda is perhaps not the best judge of gift giving!

Mouse receives a doughnut patterned jumper, that is much too big! Octopus receives some doughnut patterned socks, but he only gets six, rather than the eight that he needs! As each animal receives their gift (and fails to say thank you) Lima is cheerfully there to remind them that 'it's the thought that counts'. When Lima finally receives his gift he, rather delightfully, immediately says Thank you, Mr Panda! and this time, as he opens his gift, it is Panda who reminds him that it's the thought that counts since it is a pair of extremely large, doughnut patterned Y Fronts!

Small children will enjoy the repetition through the story, of it being the thought that counts, and for those who are slightly older, they will see the funny side of receiving overly large or unwanted items of clothing since it probably will have happened to them one birthday or Christmas! Mr Panda is a rather contrary character, since is so kind and generous and yet he's grumpy throughout the entire book - well, right up until he gets to remind Lima that it's the thought that counts! It's enjoyable as a parent to emphasise the moment when someone finally actually says 'thank you' for their present, and since it takes up a full page you can be as loud and as boisterous as you like about it!

The illustrations are bright and colourful and fun to look at. There are also full page pictures for each part of the story, so this is an easy book to share at a storytime session with a large group of little ones, and there's not too much text to attempt to read upside down in this situation...always a bonus! You can go to town with the different animal voices, if that's your thing, and it's a lovely quick read, which allows for the usual demands of 'Again! Again!' to be satisfied with very little effort.

My favourite thing about this book is elephant, who doesn't actually open his gift and walks away saying that he'll open it later. You forget all about this, but then at the end on the final page you get to see all of the animals wearing their unwanted presents and there, in the middle, is elephant who is looking terribly happy and is holding a trunkful of doughnuts! So somebody received an acceptable present! Definitely silly, but with plenty of opportunity for a discussion about manners afterwards should you so wish, this is a fun story to share.

Further reading suggestion: You might also enjoy this story by the same writer The Queen's Hat and for more about manners take a look at Please: A First Book of Manners by Patricia Hegarty and Fhiona Galloway.

Buy Thank You, Mr Panda by Steve Antony at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Thank You, Mr Panda by Steve Antony at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Thank You, Mr Panda by Steve Antony at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Thank You, Mr Panda by Steve Antony at Amazon.com.


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