Thursday, March 01, 2018

The Thought That Counts! Thank You, Mr. Panda by Steve Anthony

"Who are all these presents for, Mr. Panda?"

Mr. Panda is carefully prepping a package for Mouse, wrapped in paper printed with his trademark colorfully sprinkled donuts and tied with a big, floppy bow.

Lemur is curious. He trails along behind as Mr. Panda presents his gift to Mouse.

It's a nice sweater, but when he tries it on, Mouse loses sight of his hands and feet.

"It's too BIG!

"It's the thought that counts!" says Lemur (sagely).

Octopus receives six long, knitted socks, embellished with more donuts.  But, er,

"I have EIGHT legs!" he complains.

But the loyal Lemur adds that what counts is the thought behind the gift.

Elephant gets a similarly wrapped gift but carries it off page, saying he'll open it another time. Lemur is speechless.

Mountain goat gets a scarf, which he dutifully ties around his neck in a bow, but clearly the gift kinda gets his goat.

"It's too LONG!"

Lemur hastens to add his reassurance that the motive is the message, so to speak. There's just one lovely, donut-print-wrapped gift left. Lemur pointedly wonders out loud who the lucky recipient may be. And Mr. Panda says that this present is for Lemur himself.

"Thank you, Mr. Panda!"

Lemur rips eagerly into the wrappings, only to find that his gift is a generously over-sized pair of donut-printed tighty whities.

Lemur is, shall we say, more nonplussed than pleased. Now, what can Mr. Panda say to that as he nonchalantly strolls off-page?

Mr. Panda gets the last line, which young readers will hasten to chime in on, in Steve Anthony's latest chapter in his ongoing story of our current etiquette expert, Mr. Panda, Thank You, Mr. Panda (Scholastic Press, 2017 Am. ed.) Author Steve Anthony is a master of understated drollery, while slyly instructing his young readers in the niceties of manners, and his whimsical illustrations are good for some giggles, as are his final endpapers showing all the gift recipients modeling their gifts. Earlier books in this series are Please, Mr. Panda (A Board Book) and I'll Wait, Mr Panda: Board Book. (Read reviews here.)

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