Books About Courtesy and Manners
Welcome to this week’s addition of my character development series. These books about courtesy and manners should be a great aid as you are raising up your kids in virtue. I can’t even begin to explain the immediate positive response my kids had to these books. We teach manners, but these lessons really resonated with them this week. I hope you are enjoying my character development series. This week we are obviously learning about courtesy through literature, but I hope you will click back to my other lessons on this topic. If you are new to my character development series, hover over the character tab to see the 52 words we work on throughout the year (one for each week). Click on the character trait of choice to discover a variety of activities to address the topic with kids.
Freda Says Please (Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn Series) – This is one book in a great series that teaches kids how to handle life better, work on character and behave well. You can find the series on Amazon by typing in “Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn Series.” You will find a lot of options for a variety of topics. In this story, Freda wants to play school and be the teacher. However, she is quite the bossy teacher. Her friend, Percy, tries to explain that a real teacher says please and is polite in the way she approaches her class. Freda says, “I can do what I want.” Her attitude drives Percy away. However, Freda really wants Percy to play so she is influenced to have polite behavior, which makes the whole experience fun. All of the polite words are in bold. It is a story that kids will identify with. I know my daughter, who loves to play school and can error on the bossy side, really needed this book. These books also have engaging questions at the end. The whole series is meant to cover social, emotional, health, safety and cognitive skills. I highly recommend them.
Manners – This is a cute book. It is set up comic book style. There are kids role playing the right way and the wrong way to behave. It works on a variety of topics that fit under the category of being courteous. There were a couple disjointed stories, but I think most were ver relatable and well thought through.
Manners (Do the Right Thing!) – This is a great direct teaching kind of book. This book made me really long for a world that just worked the way it should. In this book, people are polite, well-behaved, thoughtful and kind. They are pleasant when they greet one another. They wait for other people, raise their hands in class, take turns, say polite words, open the door for others and are generally helpful. It is really a pleasant life that is presented.
Manners!: Staying out of Trouble with David Mortimore Baxter – This is my first experience with David Mortimore Baxter. It looks like this is a series with a variety of topics about character. I definitely think this book is geared toward older kids. It adds humor and stories into the rules on manners. He isn’t always spot on in his interpretations of the rules…actually, it looks like he rarely is spot on. However, this book does have a solid list going and a fun approach to learning rules. This book is much more interesting to read than standard etiquette books. This is a longer book (77 pages). I didn’t read the whole thing, but I was entertained by the style and could see how older kids would identify with David Baxter and his take on manners.
Totally Monster: Manners (Totally Monsters) – This is a cute book. It shows some fun monster and their rude behavior. They never say please or thank you. Their table manners are awful. They never keep things clean. They really just have no manners. However, things suddenly (weird transition here) change and they do have manners. Suddenly, they are pleasant to be around and have a complete transition to courteous behavior. This book is especially fun for little kids and has flip open pages.
Emily Post’s The Guide to Good Manners for Kids – This is really a comprehensive guidebook for children when it comes to manners. I think this would be a good reference book for kids a bit older than mine. I would say upper elementary through high school kids could really learn from the content. I know my littler kids could learn something too, but there’s no way they would want to read this book from beginning to end. I think it would be a great book to have on hand as a parent and maybe read a couple ideas or thoughts at dinner time about a certain topic. That would be a very appropriate approach for kids of all ages, and I think this book would really aid in the whole experience.
Are You Quite Polite? – The illustrations in this book are super fun. The book is made up of silly songs about manners. They are quirky and humorous. They are set to semi-familiar tunes. That would be my complaint. Some of the songs weren’t familiar at all, and I would consider myself as someone familiar with music. Also, in singing some of the familiar ones, there were weird moments where you can’t quite figure out how the words fit with the tune. The book can easily be read as poems or you can, like me, make up your own tunes, which can be hideous at times. As promised, the songs are silly, fun and do teach about manners..
Dora’s Book of Manners (Dora the Explorer) – Dora does a great job of teaching about manners in this book. The Grumpy Old Troll is sad because he was grumpy with one of his best friends and drove him away. Therefore, Dora sets out with the Grumpy Old Troll to try and ask for forgiveness. They learn about how to use nice, courteous behavior along the way. It teaches these polite words in both English and Spanish. Dora is such a great teacher, and she nails it in her manners book.
Mary Louise Loses Her Manners – This is a funny book. The illustrations are entertaining and unique. The concept is that Mary Louise literally loses her manners. She hasn’t exercised them enough, so they are gone. She tries to be polite, but weird replacements for courteous words slip into her speech. There is a “poop” and a “boogers” in there, so if you are trying to rid your child of potty talk, this might not be the book. That said, my kids just kind of smirked that those words were thrown into the dialogue. Mary Louise has to go out in search of her manners. I like the way she creatively describes her manners and has an artist draw up a sketch of them. She then goes on a hunt throughout the city, talking to people and tracking down her manners as they have performed good deeds throughout town. We all enjoyed this book.
Scholastic Reader Level 2: Please Say Please, Grumpy Bunny! – This is a super cute book. The bunny teacher announces that she knows a magic word. Everyone is excited but then disappointed when they hear the word is “please.” She decides to do a competition to see who can say please throughout the day and never forget. Hopper isn’t used to saying please but his competitive nature sets in, and he is determined to win. What he discovers along the way is that please really does feel like a magic word. When he is polite, more people want to give him what he is asking for. He decides to continue to say please even when the competition is over.
Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf – I really enjoyed this little book about B.B. Wolf. The Big Bad Wolf is known for his bad and hurtful behavior. However, he is invited to tea at the library, and he is ready to make a new name for himself. Little Red Riding Hood is there as is the Gingerbread Man and Three Little Pigs. He is nervous about how to behave at a tea party, but he was trained well by his friend and successfully makes it through the tea party with courteous behavior that shocked everyone. He didn’t even eat anyone.
Polite as a Princess (Disney Princess) (Pictureback(R)) – Disney princesses are role models for our girls. This book can be especially influencing among the little girls in your life that want to be a princess. It shows how princesses say please, thank you, excuse me and other polite words. Princesses use table manners and write thank you cards. They also clean up after themselves and make lives easier for others. I really like how Disney has identified that girls look up to their characters and use that influence as a way to teach children proper behavior.