From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3–This painless introduction to good manners is sure to produce a generation of more civilized beings. With tongue firmly in cheek, Willems uses an army of mice and a cast of multicultural children to cover the basics of polite conversation: please, excuse me, sorry, and thank you. The tiny rodents are responsible for maneuvering the colorful text bubbles (and parachutes, arrows, signs, hot-air balloons, sails, wrecking balls, etc.). Framing the words in creative ways against expansive white backgrounds reinforces their importance while providing a boost to beginning readers. The examples speak directly to a young child's experience, thereby inspiring the motivation to try the author's suggestions: If you ever really want something–the illustration shows an entranced girl eyeing a cookie jar–...don't just grab it! Go ask a big person and please say please'! Other relevant situations follow as the mice instruct and cajole the youngsters on the art of approaching adults while remaining sincere. A certain pigeon makes a cameo appearance, and a simple board game decorates the endpapers. While treatises on good manners abound, this entertaining and practical guide is closest to the spirited style of Sesyle Joslin's What Do You Say, Dear
? (HarperCollins, 1958). Willems offers no sermons, no sentimentality, just good sense–and fun, thank you very much.–Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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