- Age Range: 3 and up
- Grade Level: Preschool and up
- Hardcover: 407 pages
- Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 1st edition (April 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932236090
- ISBN-13: 978-1932236095
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 81 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Everyday Graces: A Child's Book of Good Manners Hardcover – April 1, 2003
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"A lovely and touching family reading experience. Here is a delightful and poignant opportunity for parent and child to bond in love and wisdom."
From the Publisher
In Everyday Graces: A Child's Book of Good Manners, Karen Santorum has produced for parents and teachers a wonderfully rich and instructive anthology. Her volume speaks to the regrettable fact that the subject of manners is not much discussed anymore, and good manners seem practiced even less. Yet, good manners are a prerequisite for the growth of moral character; they are the habits of conduct and behavior by which we express in the most ordinary circumstances our fundamental respect for others, whether parents, friends, colleagues, or strangers. It is evident, then, that when we fail to instill good manners in our youth we invite a decline of civility and a coarsening of our common life.
Under such headings as "Honor Your Mother and Father," "Please and Thank You," "No Hurtful Words, "Good Behavior in Sport," and "Showing Respect for Country," Mrs. Santorum has arranged a collection of stories and poems that will develop and enrich the moral imagination. Some of her selections are well known; others are forgotten gems that deserve a new hearing. Authors include Hans Christian Anderson, Beatrix Potter, Mark Twain, Frances Hodgson Burnett, M. Montgomery, C. S. Lewis, Max Lucado and Arnold Lobel, to name only a few.
Karen Santorum writes that this anthology "grew out of the frustration of not being able to find a book on manners that instructs through stories rather than by rules of dos and don'ts." Each of her selections has been tried and tested on her own children, and each is introduced and concluded by her own thoughtful commentary. The result is an informality and intimacy that is inviting and infectious. Everyday Graces will be useful both as a bedside book and as a reference for home, school, and church library.
"This book is a treasure chest - every story a gem. The knowledge imparted in this book will, indeed, make the world a much better place." --Elizabeth Dole, US Senator
"It's also book of manners for Rock Stars . . . " --Bono, singer/songwriter, U2
"Good manners are a reflection of a person's heart and soul. There is nothing more beautiful to a parent than when a child looks beyond himself in consideration of another. All of the kind deeds and words that come from a wellmannered child add so much joy to the lives of others. Everyday Graces is fun, entertaining, and instructive. Without even knowing it, children are learning good manners as they read through the stories and poems. I highly recommend this book to every parent. It is a book every family should have and enjoy!" --Jane Seymour, actress, author of Remarkable Changes
"A lovely and touching family reading experience. Here is a delightful and poignant opportunity for parent and child to bond in love and wisdom." --Dr. Laura Schlessinger, national radio talk show host and author of the children's book Where's God?
"Good literature can be an inspiring guide to good behavior. Parents who share this book with their children will thank Karen Santorum for the skill and sensitivitywith which she chose its contents. And so will the parents' children when, years hence, they read it with their own children." --George F. Will, syndicated columnist
"Karen Santorum touches a raw nerve. The moral decay in American life has led to the coarsening of America. Slothfulness, remember, is one of the seven deadly sins. Through stories, poems, fables and myths, here is a great resource to restore manners." Charles W. Colson, Chairman, Prison Fellowship Ministries
"Karen Santorum believes that politeness stems from the nature of a person. As a mother, she also knows the power of stories to shape and mold the nature of our children. In Everyday Graces, Karen has complied a treasure chest of tales that helps us raise the next generation of children into adults of kind compassion. Everyday Graces is a must for families that desire their children to become people of character." --Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated talk show host
"A charming collection of stories that will delight children while teaching them important lessons about life." William Kilpatrick, author, Why Johnny Can't Tell Right From Wrong
"Among the casualties of the 'culture war' have been civility, manners, and what we called in my grandparents' generation 'deportment.' Karen Santorum mounts a counteroffensive in Everyday Graces, gleaned from classic and contemporary sources that teach what we once held to be common sense and common values. This book belongs in every home in need of reinforcements." --Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist
"Everyday Graces represents a valuable contribution to the new national trend to emphasize virtues above information, character over skills. Karen Santorum has provided a useful service for all parents who want to encourage more civilized behavior in their children." --Michael Medved, film critic and national radio talk show host
"What I want to say to Mrs. Santorum for giving us this remarkable and stimulating book on the much-neglected subject of manners is: Ma'am, permit me, "thank you so very, very much." --William Murchison, Radford Distinguished Professor of Journalism, Baylor University
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Top customer reviews
What I found frustrating, though, was that in most cases the reader is given only a chapter, or even just part of a chapter, of a book like LIttle Women or Anne of Green Gables.
If your children are not familiar with these books, you will have to spend some time explaining all that has happened to lead up to the point being presented.
Otherwise, if you don't know the whole story, it is very hard to appreciate fully the example given.
Also- having only a tiny part of the story frustrated my children. They were upset when the chapter ended and wanted to hear more of each story. And that is fine, and even good- inspiring us to read the whole book later- but it did make us "lose the moment", so to speak.
I think this book would be excellent for older children or teenagers who already are familiar with Anne of Green Gables and her friend Diana Barry, who know their history in Avonlea and can immediately connect with the chapter presented. Or who already have read The Iliad or Hans Brinker.
Otherwise- why not just read the whole of Hans Brinker? or LIttle Women? or any of these books? They are excellent stories, full of many examples of good morals and good manners that could be discussed along the way.
One of the greatest things about this book is that it calls one's attention to indispensable classics that parents may have forgotten, or never read before. I will be buying some of the books which selections were chosen from, and referring to this book as my children grow up to get ideas for stocking the family library.
I do have a few minor complaints. First, many selections are followed up by a 'moral' written in everyday language. I found this potentially trite and the points were overly belabored. Also, sometimes the switch in tone could be jarring after some of the selections. However, I think that these little notes will have the desired effect as long as I don't read them and just leave them for my children to discover when they are able to read for themselves. I'm hoping that they will come across as little treasures and surprises for my children to discover on their own.
Second, some of the selections came from novels and needed a lot of prefacing to explain their context, and even then seemed a bit disjointed. Most were fine, but occasionally I just felt like something was missing as I read the selection.