Can I tell you how much my family loves this book?
My mother read it to us when when we were children, and I am most certain my mother's mother read it to her. My 5 year old brain remembers so well the silly characters and faces from which I learned to say "please" and "thank you." My Mother bought this (at Anthropologie of all places) for Addie and Ian on their first Christmas together, and honestly...I think my kids love it as much as I still do. But honestly...tell me the beginning of the book isn't pure genius.
If you can't read it, here's how the book begins:
"Having good manners is really just living with other people pleasantly. If you lived all by yourself out on a desert island, others would not care whether you had good manners or not. It wouldn't bother them. Most of us don't live on desert islands. So this is what we do-We meet people..." And so it goes on. Simple and brilliant.
Addie's favorite part is the section where you meet the children who are very unpleasant to be around. The Whiney is so ugly and unappealing, Addie has vowed to never whine again. Uh-hum. She makes strong promises. But the impact of these illustrations does the trick. Coupled with a naive yet very modern 1930's illustrative style, this book catches your attention almost surprisingly.
These other books are just as delightful, and will invite your kids to think manners really are fun. I find it fun to think that these books are still teaching kids after nearly 75 years (these were published in 1936.) And if anything, I've used these for decoration. The book jackets are so colorful, and make me so happy. Display them on the bookcase and you've made your point already. Subtle hints...but pretty, yes?