Friday, November 4, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book three hundred and eight

I was very lucky that I was never forced to read any books about etiquette. Instead my grandmother made me walk around with a book on my head (so that I would "walk like a lady and not like an elephant"), and she drilled me so that I would learn which fork went with which course. She also taught me to open doors for my elders, and to "be nice to people until they do something that makes it clear that they are not worthy of your respect." At the time these lessons drove me crazy, but I am not grateful for them.

The children in today's picture book do not have a loving grandmother to teach them the dos and dont's of correct behavior. They have a famous book of etiquette forced on then, and they are not amused. 

Jennifer LaRue Huget
Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Random House, 2009, 978-0-375-83853-8
   The family has just gone to Books & Sons, and Mother has purchased a book about etiquette that was written by Emily Post. “Everything was just dandy” until the moment when Mother starts to read the book. Now Emily Post’s etiquette suggestions are severely affecting her children’s quality of life. They cannot slump in their chairs, shout, or talk with food in their mouths. Everything that the children like to do is being ruined by Emily Post’s wretched rules.
   To make matters worse, Mother is always talking about the characters who appear in Emily Post’s book. It is as if Mrs. Wordly, Mrs. Toplofty, and Mrs. Wellborn are in their home, constantly correcting the children’s behavior.
   There finally comes a time when the children have had enough. Somehow they have to convince their mother that Emily Post’s book is not a good thing to read. Somehow they have to use Emily Post’s lessons to get rid of her once and for all.
   In this delightfully funny picture book, young readers will see how Emily Post’s famous book of etiquette affected people. In truth, her book did change the way people behaved. It showed them that having good manners is not just about knowing which fork to use when. It is also about showing others respect and treating them with kindness.
   This is the perfect book for all those children who think that manners are a waste of time. As they read, children will be delighted to see how the characters in the story deal with their problem.
   At the back of the book there is further information about Emily Post and her famous book.

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