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Friday Flips #83: Penguin Says Please (and other Hello Genius books about Manners)

The twins have quite different tastes in books from N when he was their age, so even though I’ve got tons of board books, they aren’t very keen (yet) on most of them. I came across these Hello Genius books on manners, and after reading some reviews online, I decided to get ‘Hippo Says Excuse Me’ to see if the twins would enjoy it. On the first day I gave them the book, they made me read it at least TEN times to them! Granted that it’s not very wordy, but I was surprised that they liked it THAT much. I got bored of it really quickly, especially since they did the exact same things during every single reading, such as pointing at the different animals on the pages and insisting that I told them the names of the animals. I guess repetition is important at their age, but it isn’t very fun for the adults, so I bought the other three books in the series, just so I got a bit of variety when I read to them.

Hippo Says Excuse Me

I thought they really liked ‘Hippo Says Excuse Me’, but when I introduced ‘Penguin Says Please’, they absolutely LOVED it. They picked up on the actions and key words really quickly, and it’s quite cute when they repeat some words, point at the pictures, and do actions such as pretending to eat and drink. My favourite bit is when they both raise their right feet whenever penguin is looking for his socks. So funny!

Penguin Says Please

No, no!

Raising their right feet

‘Bear Says Thank You’ has a little polar bear who asks his mum for art supplies to make a lovely card for her. The ending is quite sweet, as he gives hims mum the card, and tells her that he needs her when she asks if he needed anything else. There weren’t any other animals in this book, and somehow, the twins seem more attracted to the other three books, which include more animals.

Bear Says Thank You

‘Mouse Says Sorry’ has simpler and less text than the other books in this series, but I read a negative review on ‘Mouse Says Sorry’ saying something about how it didn’t teach “good morals”, or show that actions have consequences, because all Mouse did was apologise after causing trouble for the other animals. The reviewer also didn’t like that Mouse was rushing just to get home in time for dinner, instead of something more “important”, so erm, if you want your books to have a bit more “substance”, then I would suggest that you get ‘Penguin Says Please’ and ‘Bear Says Thank You’ only.

‘Hippo Says Excuse Me’ has Hippo saying that there is always room for one more in a crowded lift, but if you want to nitpick, you’d say that that doesn’t make sense because the extra animal could be huge, like an elephant. So yeah. Don’t get it if that’s going to bother you. But then again, if you’re going to be fussy, then you shouldn’t get the entire series because hello, how can the animals talk, why do tigers and koalas get along, what’s a penguin doing sleeping in a bed, and for that matter, why are these animals taking the bus and lift?!

Mouse Says Sorry

In general, I think this series is attractive to babies and toddlers because of the bright and adorable illustrations. I like that they aren’t very wordy, which helps when I’ve got two squirmy kids who can’t sit through longer books yet. Each book has a small variety of animals apart from the main animal in the title, so it’s also good for introducing some animals to the kids. Strangely, the twins keep insisting that the ostrich and flamingo in the books are ducks, no matter how many times I’ve told them otherwise. I suspect they’re doing an experiment to see how many times they can get me to correct them before I lose it completely.

ANYWAY, if you aren’t so particular about having your books make complete sense, then do check out these books. Be warned though, your kids might make you read them multiple times, until you can memorise them all. But then again, it’s good to have book-loving kids, isn’t it?

Happy reading!

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