OKAY, SO IT ISN’T A YA BOOK.
This is a picture book I stumbled across at work today (I stumble across a lot of books, but this one caught my eye). I decided to flip through it and see what was up, because I love pandas and I also love doughnuts. Picture books are actually really cool sometimes, and this was one of those times.
This book tells the story of Mr. Panda, a grim-faced bear with doughnuts to offer to the other animals. They have various reactions, but only the lemur says please. That one gets all the doughnuts, because Mr. Panda, as you come to find out, doesn’t like them. I find this to be a very powerful book in its simplicity. The colors aren’t crazy, there’s not a lot going on, but that really lets you focus on the story and leaves you wondering why this panda is offering his food when he turns around and says ‘I changed my mind. You can’t have any’ to most of the creatures he encounters. Why does a panda have a box of doughnuts, anyway? I suppose it’s one of the great mysteries of life.
Whether the author intended it to or not, this book hit me pretty hard with the lesson. It’s a basic lesson, one fewer and fewer children are taught in our generation- manners are not a choice. Mr. Panda left the other animals hanging because when he asks them if they want a doughnut, they demand the colors they want without a second thought. The lemur asks politely and gets the whole box. It also makes another important point- manner may not always be acknowledged, but they are still expected of us. Mr. Panda doesn’t jump around in excitement when the lemur is polite, he just keeps on going. But there’s the point- being polite gets results, even when there’s no recognition for it. Anyway, this was random and unrelated to YA at all, but I’m in love with this book so everyone should read it. Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!