Time to Say "Please"!


As a companion book to the popular Time to Pee!, Mo Willems has created a book on manners in his own signature style. Groups of ebullient mice narrate this humorous text as young children try in vain to get what they want, learning along the way that it is helpful to say "Please," "Thank you," "Excuse me," and "I'm sorry." Oh, and you have to mean it, too.

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As a companion book to the popular Time to Pee!, Mo Willems has created a book on manners in his own signature style. Groups of ebullient mice narrate this humorous text as young children try in vain to get what they want, learning along the way that it is helpful to say "Please," "Thank you," "Excuse me," and "I'm sorry." Oh, and you have to mean it, too.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Willems's assertive characters know what they want, but they seldom ask for it politely. In this etiquette lesson (from which Pigeon, star of a few other of Willems's picture books, could benefit), the author explains the tactical usefulness of the magic word. The gaggle of Ignatz-lookalike mice first introduced in Time to Pee! dispense the lesson, instructing a girl who wants a cookie by holding up four red placards shaped like stop signs ("Don't just grab it!") to arrest her first impulse. As she resists their advice, the mute mice-who might have an ulterior motive-wave banners and fly tiny zeppelins emblazoned with word-by-word commands: "Go ask a big person/ and/ Please say `please'!" Then, in a digression from the main story, they and some other children demonstrate the versatile applications of "please," "excuse me," "sorry" and "thank you" ("you have to mean it!"). Finally the girl appeals to her father with a gracefully hand-lettered "please" that does the trick, and the tutorial concludes with the rodents begging (politely) for a bite of her hard-earned cookie. The simply drawn children recall the various Peanuts characters, and the insistent mice clown around in ways that reward rereading. This title lacks the hilarity of Willems's previous accounts of persuasion, but it does assert the power of a spoonful of sugar. Ages 3-6. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Learning good manners is a must, and an entertaining book teaching when and how to say "please" helps the medicine go down. "If you ever really want something, really, really want something, don't just grab it! Go ask a big person and Please say "Please"!" The reader also learns to say please when they want a turn, a toy, or they want to borrow something, or maybe they want to try something for the first time. And please is not the only magic word. "Excuse me," "Sorry," and "Thank-you" are important too. A fun book with simple characters is an effective way to capture the imaginations of very young minds. Minimal illustrations carry the action across one page and on to the next. With a little scrutiny, you will notice small, pointy-nosed mice in the background, teaching the word "please" at the chalk board, carrying signs, parachuting into the kitchen, flying air balloons and riding helicopters. A nice addition to the story is the game built into the book. The book jacket opens up to reveal a small game board ready to be mounted on cardboard. Attached to the back cover is a spinner with four game pieces featuring four action-packed mice. It should also be noted that the author has won six Emmys for his Sesame Street scripts. His mastery of the craft is evident. 2005, Hyperion Books for Children, Ages 3 to 5.
—Robyn Gioia
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-This painless introduction to good manners is sure to produce a generation of more civilized beings. With tongue firmly in cheek, Willems uses an army of mice and a cast of multicultural children to cover the basics of polite conversation: please, excuse me, sorry, and thank you. The tiny rodents are responsible for maneuvering the colorful text bubbles (and parachutes, arrows, signs, hot-air balloons, sails, wrecking balls, etc.). Framing the words in creative ways against expansive white backgrounds reinforces their importance while providing a boost to beginning readers. The examples speak directly to a young child's experience, thereby inspiring the motivation to try the author's suggestions: "If you ever really want something"-the illustration shows an entranced girl eyeing a cookie jar-"...don't just grab it! Go ask a big person and please say `please'!" Other relevant situations follow as the mice instruct and cajole the youngsters on the art of approaching adults while remaining sincere. A certain pigeon makes a cameo appearance, and a simple board game decorates the endpapers. While treatises on good manners abound, this entertaining and practical guide is closest to the spirited style of Sesyle Joslin's What Do You Say, Dear? (HarperCollins, 1958). Willems offers no sermons, no sentimentality, just good sense-and fun, thank you very much.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After it's Time to Pee (2003), apparently it's time to learn manners. The swarms of placard-bearing mice who cheered children through the agonies of toilet training return, this time to instruct them in the basics of etiquette: "If you every really want something, / . . . PLEASE say 'PLEASE'!" Floating on balloons, skydiving in, screeching through in ambulances, the helpful mice demonstrate the many situations where "please" might be appropriate, as well as the utility of "excuse me," "sorry" ("But you have to mean it!"), and "thank you." As in his previous offering, Willems delivers an entirely kid-centered lesson, with the occasional gentle dose of reality: "You may not get what you want." After asserting that, "you can never say please too often," a little girl who has just successfully gotten a cookie holds up a placard of her own as the mice entreat her to share with some 30 plus iterations of the magic word: "Then again, maybe you CAN." The zany antics of the mice compel close-and repeated-readings, and the inevitable question: Please, sir, may we have some more? (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786852932
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 364,981
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.06 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Mo Willems hit!

    Our kindergarten students love anything written and illustrated by Mo Willems, so this was an instant hit. Expect lots of laughs as your students learn from lovable characters. Mo Willems provides a humorous way to talk about manners.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    Cute Art

    The artwork is cute. Would not recommend this book as a tool to teach manners to beginners. This is better for children who already have the concept of manners. You can talk back to this book just like the Pigeon book.

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    Posted December 16, 2008

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    Posted December 12, 2008

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    Posted January 15, 2009

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    Posted November 29, 2008

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