Cover image for Time to say "Please"! / by Mo Willems.
Time to say "Please"! / by Mo Willems.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, 2005.

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : cololour illustrations ; 21 x 27 cm


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
WIL Book Easy Collection
395.122 WIL Book Easy Collection
395.122 WIL Book Easy Collection

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Mo Willems was born on February 11, 1968. After graduating from New York University's Tisch School for the Arts, he spent a year traveling around the world drawing a cartoon every day, which were published in the book You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons. For nine seasons, he worked as a writer and animator for PBS' Sesame Street, where he received 6 Emmy Awards for his writing. During this time, he also served as a weekly commentator for BBC Radio and created two animated series, Nickelodeon's The Off-Beats and Cartoon Network's Sheep in the Big City.

While working as head writer for Cartoon Network's Codename: Kids Next Door, he began writing and drawing books for children. He received three Caldecott Honor Awards for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! in 2004; Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale in 2005; and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity in 2008. He also created the Elephant and Piggie series for Easy Readers, which were awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal in 2008 and 2009.

His drawings, wire sculptures, and ceramics have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums across the nation. Occasionally he serves as the Radio Cartoonist for NPR's All Things Considered. He voices and produces animated cartoons based on his books with Weston Woods studios. The animated Knuffle Bunny was awarded Best Film during the New York International Children's Film Festival in 2008 and received the Andrew Carnegie Medal in 2007. His title Happy Pig Day made Publisher's Weekly Best Seller List for 2011. In 2012 his title Goldilocks and The Three Dinosaurs made The New York Times Best Seller List. In 2013 his titles: That is Not a Good Idea!, Let's Go for a Drive! and I'm a Frog! made the New York Times Best Seller List. In 2014 The Pigeons Need a Bath! and Waiting Is Not Easy! made the New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

(Preschool) ""If you ever really want something, / really, really want something, / don't just grab it!"" The cheerleading gang of mice from Time to Pee! (rev. 1/04) here offer tips and encouragement on manners. As in Willems's previous pep rally of a book, words in the simple text appear on such items as banners, balloons, parachutes, blimps, helicopters, and signs (to name a few), all wielded/held aloft/driven by the enthusiastic mice. Despite the amount of frenetic activity on each page, the cartoon art isn't chaotic and offers lots of details for viewers to pore over. The breezy etiquette lesson briefly touches on when to say ""please"" (""when you want a turn"") as well as on three other phrases that ""can come in handy"" (""excuse me,"" ""sorry,"" and ""thank you""). Although Willems mentions that ""you may not get what you want,"" he doesn't reinforce that important point in the example given (a little girl who gets a cookie after asking politely). Still, this is a lighthearted accompaniment to other preschool books on manners -- such as Margery Cuyler's Please Say Please! (Scholastic) -- and an easily digested good-behavior refresher. A simple board game is printed inside the jacket, and a spinner for same is glued to the back endpaper. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.