Please by Lisa Kerr
Cheeky Monkey manners series. Five Mile Press, 2015. ISBN
(Age: 3-5) This is one of two Cheeky Monkey manners books (the other is Thank you) but one of many in the Cheeky Monkey series (others include Country on the go and City on the go). The small board book format is suited to preschool and early childhood and is a fun way to springboard discussions about manners - what they are, and when to use them.
Cheeky Monkey is not really cheeky, he just doesn't know about the power of the word please! He would really like a banana and he very politely asks his friends, 'Can you pick me a banana?' They all keep answering his request with 'What do you say first?' Cheeky Monkey doesn't know what he is supposed to say - he tries telling Mr Elephant that he looks nice today but that isn't the right answer. Finally Miss Mouse explains that the word he must say first is 'please'. He isn't sure how this one little word could help but he decides to try it anyway. Lo and behold it works and his friends all pick him a nice ripe banana.
As with the other Cheeky Monkey books, the colourful illustrations make the book visually appealing to young children. The illustrations themselves are large without great amounts of detail, Cheeky Monkey always being the main element on each page. The focus is on the animals and their facial expressions. There are, however, lots of little additional small animals (frogs, birds, mice, butterflies etc) which will enable younger children to retain focus and discuss the illustrations.
While there is quite a large amount of text the book itself is kept very short to keep engagement high. With only 5 double-page spreads this book will keep young readers interested until the very end. Overall, a fun way to introduce the word 'please', and discuss when to use it and how one little word can make all the difference!