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Mind Your Manners    by Diane Goode order for
Mind Your Manners
by Diane Goode
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This rollicking picture book takes us back to olden times, with a humorous look at good manners. The author mentions that she found the original rules in an old spelling book, and she includes all 35 of them at the back of Mind Your Manners.

It opens, 'If ever you are invited ... / ... to dine with the Abbotts ... / ... always remember to ... / ... mind your manners!' As the invitees (a little boy and his family) try to mind their manners, their hosts - and especially the hosts' pet dogs and cats - break every rule in the book, in a series of greedy scenes reminiscent of Tom Jones. Here's a delightfully archaic example: 'Pick not thy teeth at the table, unless holding thy napkin before thy mouth with thine other hand.'

Kids and adults will chuckle alike over these detailed rules of decorum (which are generally still good ones), and little ones will delight in pointing out everyone who's not minding their manners in this amusing picture book.

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