Wash Your Hands, Mr Panda by Steve Antony

Wash your Hands, Mr Panda

By Steve Antony

Hodder and Stoughton

Great Britain 2021

ISBN: 9781444948264

Age range 2 to 4years.

“Wash Your Hands, Mr Panda”, written and illustrated by Steve Antony, is an explanation of why handwashing is important, couched in a simple situational story. Mr Panda has brought a box full of donuts for his animal friends, and he and his side kick penguin require their friends to wash their hands before eating them. This takes the form of a call and response structure, with Mr Panda asking each animal in turn, “Have your washed your hands?” Each animal responds with a “NO, Mr Panda, but…”  What follows is a list of the other parts of their body that they have washed. Particularly amusing is the hippo’s response, “No, Mr Panda, but my bottom is squeaky clean”. After this roll call Mr Panda goes on to explain about the existence of germs and why washing with soap and water is important. It’s a light-hearted approach to hygiene, in which the character of Mr Panda is a parental figure and the animals could represent children. Readers of all ages might therefore be able to relate to at least one of the characters in the book. In the final page of the book the animals are all freshly clean and enjoying the donuts.

The full page illustrations are simple form and line caricatures of cuddly and cute animals such as a lemur, a mouse, a rabbit and the aforementioned animals.  The mostly black and white animal illustrations really pop on a background of teal. The colourful donuts look especially fun and appealing in this mix.

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