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by Lari Don, illustrated by Claire Keay

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: May 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8631-5995-4
Publisher: Floris

Are saying “please” and “thank you” really all that important?

There comes a time when every child has to write thank-you notes, and now it’s Catriona’s turn. She is not to play with her new toys until she signs the thank-you notes for her birthday presents and puts them in envelopes, but such an arduous task is bound to take all day! Perhaps a magic spell will solve the problem, but first, she needs to figure out the magic word to get things started. Colorful and energetic pictures portray the persistent young heroine and her trusty feline companion as, after a few comic efforts, the word becomes clear: “Please,” of course! In a classic case of be-careful-what-you wish-for, Catriona’s pencils are suddenly writing everywhere (except on the thank-you notes, as luck would have it), and not always politely! How can she make them stop? What was that magic word again? While the value of a thank-you note is never fully addressed and the plot feels a trifle disjointed, Catriona’s attempts at chore avoidance and mistake correction will seem familiar to most children, who are sure to root for her eventual success.

This airy cautionary tale will draw young listeners in with its appealing illustrations as Catriona realizes that thank-you notes aren’t so bad after all. (Picture book. 3-6)