I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony is a nominee for the Buckeye Children’s & Teen Book Award in the K-2 category.
From the Cover
Mr. Panda is making a surprise. What is it? The animals must wait and see. But waiting is boring. Mr. Panda shows that good things come to those who wait!
Mr. Panda is cooking a surprise. Llama asks him what it is, but Mr. Panda says to wait and see. Llama won’t wait, but penguin says he will. Anteater says waiting is too hard. Bunnies won’t wait, but penguin will! Bird won’t wait, but penguin is waiting. Mr Panda reveals the treat. It was worth the wait!
I’ll Wait Mr. Panda actually fixed one of the issues I had with Please, Mr. Panda where the images from page to page were so similar that they looked to be copy and pasted instead of drawn individually. I think kids really like the grumpy panda and the over-eager penguin.
I think the two different fonts used in the book clash and I wish the animals had some kind of identification. I think kids will know panda, penguin,and bunny – but anteater is harder. I am guessing the other animal is a llama, but I am not sure and the bird is crane-like, but again we don’t know what it is.
It feels like there is some confusion as to who we are supposed to focus on in this book. There are many pages where both Mr. Panda and the penguin are extended off of the edge of a page.
It’s a modern update on the little red hen story and the high contrast illustrations would work well for storytime. I think this book is the most versatile of the K-2 nominations as you could use it for pandas, penguins, food, manners, black & white, etc. If our library did not already have it in the collection I would order it.