Make My Life Easier: Please, Mr. Panda

Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony

The magic of the right book at the right time!

Today we went to the library and Levi pulled Please, Mr. Panda off the shelf. He asked me to read it to him and as I did Benjamin and Jubilee drifted over, interested. I was immediately required to read it a second time. Later this afternoon, they were using "please" more frequently and with less hassle. And that makes this book a winner!

In it, Mr. Panda asks various animals if they would like a doughnut. Each of them demands a different color and each is met with the same reply, "No, you cannot have a doughnut. I have changed my mind."

This book definitely reminded me of I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen.

  1. The large, textured illustrations with bold lines, 
  2. the cast of various animals, 
  3. the rather disinterested look in Mr. Panda's eyes throughout, 
  4. and the repeated text. 

These two books are birds of a feather. Ashley wrote the Everead review of Klassen's award winner, and Ashley you're going to love this one.

I don't even remember now what Levi asked me for, after lunch, but I recognized myself about to begin our usual script, "If you want that, you need to ask with a 'please.'" But I caught myself just in time and said, "No, I have changed my mind." After a moment of confusion, he caught on and grinned as he changed his ask.

It was so fun! It was fun because it was different than usual. It was fun because it was a step up from where we had been -- instead of spelling out for him what he needed to do, I let him figure it out. And it was fun because he had picked the book and he had loved it and now he was living it. It wasn't long before I had the chance to use our new code-phrase with Benjamin.

It's not that I haven't tried to take this little leap before, I have. But it seemed like any time I would try to move us from our old script, the boys would end up frustrated and I would, too. But with the shared experience of having read Please, Mr. Panda under our belts, we were all on the same page.

A book that helps me be a happier parent, 
give my child more responsibility, 
and speak more politely?
Yes, Please!

I'll include an affiliate link for it here, in case your own library doesn't have it, or in case you'd like to give it as a gift or you just know already that you need to own this one. If you shop through my affiliate links, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. So here's one for Amazon and one for Barnes and Noble.


Speaking of books that make my life as a parent easier, here are some others I have written about:
Backtalk: Four Steps to Ending Rude Behavior in Your Kids,
Practical Wisdom for Parents: Demystifying the Preschool Years,
Cinnamon Baby
and then I wrote about How to Visit the Library with Kids.


  1. Thanks for the recommendation! This is now officially on hold for me at the library, along with the other of Steve Antony's books that my library system has. I'll let you know how they both go down with the critics---I mean, kiddos. :)

    1. They love them! Gemma has requested "Please, Mr. Panda" three nights running. The other one of Steve Antony's that we got was "Betty Goes Bananas." It's a cute one about little kids and their nonsensical tantrums and how we as adults try to deal with them. I like it even better than the Panda book---probably because of how well I can relate to it!

  2. It's a very cute book, I love the illustration. Thanks for sharing


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