Children's Tea & Etiquette: Brewing Good Manners in Young Minds is more than a simple picturebook - it is a thoughtful etiquette manual to instruct readers in how to properly enjoy afternoon tea. Many of the social graces discussed extend into the practice of the general world. From basic polite phrases such as "please", "thank you", "may I", and "you're welcome", to what RSVP means, to table manners for a tea party (such as not picking up one's napkin until the host has), to the importance of writing a thank-you note, Children's Tea & Etiquette is highly recommended as an instructional tool for preparing young people to do well in formal situations. Beautiful, soft pastel color illustrations by Dawn Peterson, a handful of recipes, and notes on the history of tea parties round out this good manners primer. --Midwest Book Review
I was pleased to discover the book Children's Tea & Etiquette: Brewing Good Manners in Young Minds while looking for a tea set for our planned tea party for Z's third birthday, and its publisher, Benjamin Press, was kind enough to send us a copy.
Children's Tea & Etiquette takes the form of a story with the two main characters getting invited to attend a tea party with by their grandparents. The story leads the reader through all of the proper steps of etiquette for attending an event - what an R.S.V.P. is and how to provide one, how to introduce yourself, how to hold a napkin, how to ask for something you can't reach, what types of treats are generally offered at a tea party and how to eat them, how to excuse yourself, the well-known "magic words" (please/thank you/etc.) and sending a thank-you note.
The book also includes a very brief history of tea and several recipes for treats mentioned in the book so parents can arrange their own tea parties.
The text in the book is simple, positive, and encouraging; while it might feel saccharine in other contexts, this is the writing style I have found that most etiquette books take, and I think it's the most effective. We have other books that try to address children's manners (Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book, How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?) but I have found that many of them present such an outrageous "bad" behavior, that I wonder if that bad behavior is more memorably modeled than the good behavior that we hope to impart.
The other thing that I like about Children's Tea and Etiquette is that it takes you through an event from start to finish, and thus is able to cover multiple aspects of etiquette rather than just focusing on table manners.
We recommend this book for children ages four and up. --Z Recommends Blogspot