A penguin is rewarded for patience.
Mr. Panda, large and with amusing gravitas, sports a tiny chef’s hat and a pink-frilled, doughnut-patterned apron in this tale of delayed gratification. Mr. Panda is wielding a wooden spoon and mixing bowl, into which he mysteriously pours various ingredients (flour, milk, sugar). An assortment of curious animals, mostly black and white—an alpaca, an anteater, a herd of rabbits, and possibly an egret—pop in to ask what he’s making. “Wait and see,” is Mr. Panda’s repeated answer. All but a steadfast penguin decide that, as the anteater says, “waiting is too hard,” and are on their way. The penguin, who appears first opposite the title page, continues to wait, assuring the large chef, “I’ll wait, Mr. Panda.” When the gigantic surprise is produced at last, it is decorated with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. This would be purely purposive if not for the lively good humor at play in Antony’s eager, silly creatures, who fly, hop, and peek from the sidelines and on the endpapers. Though the reward is rarely as spectacular as this, sometimes hope and anticipation are enough to strengthen the waiting muscle.
Certainly young readers will find Mr. Panda funny, will be tickled at the hyperbole, and may find the idea of a huge doughnut delectable to contemplate while waiting for their own surprises. (Picture book. 2-5)