Say Please! is the sixth book in Tony Ross's Little Princess series, a set of brightly illustrated paperback picture books with very few words. In this installment, the young princess (who more resembles Max from Where the Wild Things Are than any ordinary fairy tale princess) is learning to say "please" when she wants something. She tends towards tantrums, with disturbingly red cheeks, but learns that if she wants dinner, or her stuffed animal, or to go for a walk outside, she must say please before anyone (the Queen or the General or the servants) will give her what she wants. Eventually, she learns her lesson well enough to pass it along to someone else (a funny-looking Beastie).
The illustrations in this book are a riot. The scene where the Princess wants her potty, and stands on her toes, with legs crossed, and a pained expression on her face, will be familiar to anyone who has known a recently toilet-trained child. Then the General and the cat stand at attention. On another page, there's a casually abandoned doll with a bandage on her face, and her head torn off. Ah, the callous indifference of youth! Overall, it's a simply story that makes a single point, but the illustrations make it enjoyable.
Book: Say Please! (Little Princess Books)
Author: Tony Ross
Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Publishers
Original Publication Date: September 2006
Age Range: 3-5
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher