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Please Pass the Manners!: Mealtime Tips for Everyone    by Lola Schaefer & Kellie Lewis order for
Please Pass the Manners!
by Lola Schaefer
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Although subtitled Mealtime Tips for Everyone, this guide on proper manners is directed towards the pre-school set, but even older children will benefit from the humorous approach the author takes to this important subject.

A number of animals present the rules of good mealtime etiquette. On the first page a little mouse opens admonishes the reader, 'Please don't carry germs to your seat.' When you flip open the flap on the opposite page you'll see the rest of the mouse's advice, 'Wash your hands before you eat.' The illustration shows three piglets washing their hands with soap and water while in the background their parent places a pile of corn on the table.

Next, some baby chicks are squabbling over their food, but the mouse again has some sage advice. 'Grabbing and poking are quite rude,' he says. 'Use the word 'please' when you ask for food.'

The reader will also be advised to keep his mouth closed when chewing his food, always use the proper eating utensils, and remember to wipe up spills with a napkin.

At the end of the book you'll find a fold-out chart for each day of the week and a list of six good manners mentioned. The gold stars also included with the chart will allow you to reward your child when he or she practices the examples of proper table behavior the animals model.

I wish someone had thought of a positive way like this to teach me table manners when I was young. Not only is this fun but it is also a painless way of getting the idea across! Read the story aloud to your child a few times and then start keeping track of the proper practices by awarding the stars. I'm sure your child will be quick to remind you when a star is deserved!

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