Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony

Yet again, Steve has made bold, daring and brilliant stylistic choices that make this picture book stand out on any book shelf. It’s not every day you see a picture book with a grey cover.

Steve school’s children with a lesson in manners!

Mr. Panda, wearing only a small hat, reading ‘Doughnuts’ and a solemn expression on his face, offers different black and white animals a doughnut from his box of brightly-coloured treats. However, one after the other, they forget to say that special, magic word. With his back turned, he dismisses each of them in what I imagine to be a deep monotone voice, saying “No, you cannot have a doughnut. I have changed my mind.”

At this point the child might be thinking, “What a mean panda!”

The final animal, a lemur, asks incredibly politely and ends up with the whole box of doughnuts. Apparently, Mr. Panda doesn’t even like doughnuts!

I think the brilliance of this book, is how Steve has given us the illusion of simplicity. However, I think it is anything but. The subtle expressions, the way he creates meaning in the body language of the characters, the raw illustrations, and the media he uses are all woven together masterfully.

I also believe Steve Antony creates the best characters (you could say I’m biased, as he created my blog’s magpie mascot).The bemused expression on Mr. Panda’s face always reminds me of the Egyptian Panda cheese adverts. Check them out, they’re very funny.

Never say NO to Panda, and always say please!

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