Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur by Judy Sierra

Lynn:  Manners have always been important in my family and I’m happy to say my sons have worked hard with their boys.  Hey – I know I sound like a curmudgeon here but a lot of the adults I meet could use a refresher!  A few pleases and thank yous go a long way in this world – especially with Thanksgiving gatherings looming.  So I’m especially happy that I liked Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur:  A First Book of Manners (Random/Knopf 2012).  Dinosaurs get thrown into a lot of books for children but in this case, Sierra really incorporates them into the story rather than just as an attention-getting gimmick.

You’re shopping at the grocery store.

Surprise!

You see a dinosaur.

This doesn’t happen every day.

So, what are you supposed to say?

The little girl shopping with her mother of course says, “Hello.  I’m pleased to meet you.”  She and the grocery-shopping dinosaur go on to have other exchanges that are familiar to young children – although much to their probable disappointment NOT with dinosaurs.  The examples are as practical as they are funny and I think children will learn as they enjoy.  Tim Bowers’ illustrations are so much fun starting right from the inside cover where a large green pocket-book carrying dinosaur sprawls across both pages.  There’s plenty of humor on each page – don’t miss the contents of the Dinosaur’s shopping basket – and this book is a great way to reinforce or introduce the subject of manners.  Thank you very much!

Cindy: I am “pleased” to know that there is such a fun manners book to recommend. I’d like to politely request that parents and teachers everywhere take a few minutes to share this book with young readers…oh…and perhaps with middle schoolers too? Besides the basics, several subtle manners are included too, such as how to nicely turn down a request that doesn’t interest you. With the Thanksgiving holidays just around the corner there will be plenty of opportunity for expressing thanks…and for behaving with good manners around relatives. And, while this book covers the basics, here’s a list of 25 manners every kid show know by age 9. How many do YOU need to work on? I have a few that I needed reminding about!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees.

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