September 8 – Pardon Day

Happy Pardon Day!

Everyone makes mistakes and has reason to ask for forgiveness, or using ‘pardon me’ in polite conversation when interrupting or asking a personal question. These picture books help children see the use of the phrase ‘pardon me’.

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Foolish Rabbit’s Big Mistake  written by Rafe Martin and illustrated by Ed Young (1985)

This story passed down for hundreds of years, is similar to the more recent Chicken Little or Henny Penny stories. It is a story of a foolish rabbit who hears a crash and believes the earth is breaking up. His fear spreads to two more rabbits, two bears, an elephant, and a snake. Finally the running animals wake a mighty lion who makes them face their fears. They return to where the Rabbit heard the first crash and see that it was only an apple falling from a tree that the Rabbit mistook for the breaking of the earth.

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Pardon Me! written and illustrated by Daniel Miyares (2014)

A little yellow bird is resting peacefully in the middle of the swamp when he gets pushed aside by one creature after another. Each additional creature settles on the little bird’s resting spot with a very friendly, but insistent, ‘Pardon me.’ The little bird continues to move over to make room for the rest of the animals. At last a fox yells from the shore, ‘Pardon me, but you’re sitting on a…’ But the little bird has had enough and shouts as loudly as he can, ‘Well, pardon me, but this is my perch and I don’t care what you have to say! Now leave me alone!’ All the other creatures leave and just as the little bird drifts off to sleep, the alligator he has been perching on wakes up. The little bird is not in the illustrations anymore, but the alligator does say, ‘BURP! Pardon me.’

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“Pardon?” said the Giraffe written and illustrated by Colin West (1986)

Frog politely asks giraffe ‘What’s it like up there?’ but giraffe only answers ‘Pardon?’ So frog hops up on lion and asks again. ‘Pardon?’ So he hops on hippo. ‘Pardon?’ So he hops on elephant. ‘Pardon?’ then he hops on giraffe’s nose. ‘It’s very nice up here, thank you.’ And giraffe sneezes sending frog back to the ground. Giraffe bends down and very politely asks, ‘What’s it like down there?’

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