This charming picture book was one of last week’s library discoveries, and Beanie likes it so much she just about has it memorized. Penguin has invited a small menagerie of friends to dinner, and let’s just say their manners leave something to be desired. But they’re amiable creatures, willing to improve.
“When a hippo sits down for dinner, she should put her napkin on her head. HOW PRETTY! Is that right?”
This is a great approach to teaching manners—presenting extremely silly behaviors and asking if they’re appropriate. Beanie belly-laughed over the animals’ hijinks and delighted in shouting “Noooo!” every time the narrator asked, “Is that right?”
“No, that’s wrong,” the book continues. “When a hippo sits down for dinner, she should lay her napkin on her lap. THAT’S BETTER!”
Likewise, we learn that a lion shouldn’t say “Ew, I hate cauliflower” without a taste, a pig shouldn’t wipe his muddy hooves on the tablecloth, and a giraffe shouldn’t burp on purpose, no matter how tasty her serving of leaves.
The art is fun and lively, and the colorful text interjections (“Splat!” “Sticky-poo!”) were a fun opportunity for my emerging reader to practice sounding out.
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