Review Blog

Jan 04 2016

I'll wait, Mr Panda by Steve Antony

cover image

Hodder Children's Books, 2016. ISBN 9781444916669
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Panda, Penguins, Good manners, Patience. When Mr Panda strikes a pose in the kitchen with frilly apron, large cooking bowl, wooden spoon and chef's hat perched cheekily atop his head, the readers will know he is about to cook something special. The other animals know as well, and crowd in wanting to know just what he is cooking. Each animal that comes along asks him the same question, and gets a similar response. They are told to wait. But none does, stalking off airily. Not so Penguin. A small voice from the bottom of the page assures Mr Panda that he will wait, and wait he does.
Each delightful page renders a similar image, that of animals pestering Mr Panda for a response, but he telling them to wait. Children reading the story will be very familiar with that response from an older sibling, parent or teacher and laugh uproariously seeing it happen to others as well.
They will laugh again when Penguin's patience is rewarded and the cake baked and given to him for being so patient. A lesson learnt.
The other animals, a llama, an armadillo, several rabbits and a crane can only look on from the first endpaper as Penguin eats his cake covered with hundreds and thousands on the last endpaper.
Each image of Mr Panda shows him baking his cake and astute readers will notice some of his chosen ingredients. Apart from initiating discussions about good manners and being patient, this book will also encourage children to try their hands at making a cake, recognising the various stages Mr Panda goes through with his cake baking.
Fran Knight

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