Etiquette and good manners ought to be the expression
of a heart
that wants to be kind. Though they differ from culture to culture, the point is always to
put others at ease
The books below have different ways of portraying
behaviors that make people
comfortable or uncomfortable, and pointing the way to courtesy and kindness
that others will understand and respond to.
Charm School: A Manual of Etiquette with 101 Rules and Tips for Living, illustrated by Toni Goffe. Hardcover with illustrated boards, no jacket. This shows elementary children the why and how of manners, and a little of their history. The main idea is that since the Middle Ages manners have helped people live together and interact with less friction than they might without them. Though customs and specifics of etiquette may vary from age to age, the purpose of good manners is still to put people at ease with one another. Humorous color pictures enhance the text. $4.94-B
Feelings by Aliki. This paperback Reading Rainbow picture book is hard to put in a category, but I decided to put it here because body language gives us hints about how others feel and how they might want or need to be treated. In this book Aliki shows pictures of children expressing feelings: anger, shyness, excitement, seeking attention, fear, sadness, etc. Some pictures show two or more children in a social situation, and these often provide examples of good and bad manners to discuss. 32 pages. List price is $4. 95 I still have one or two copies at $3.55-D. When they are gone the price for reorders will be $4.45-D
How to Behave and Why by Munro Leaf (author the beloved Ferdinand) This has got to be one of the best books on character and manners there is, and it's now back in print. It begins like this:
This is really a book on how to have the most fun in living ...The two biggest
questions to ask ourselves in life at any age
Are most of the people I know glad that I am here?
Am I glad that I am here myself?
Anyone who can honestly answer "Yes" to those two questions most of the time has learned how to behave in this world
and to live a happy life...
The author stresses that if anyone wants to make good friends and keep them, he needs to be honest, fair, strong, and wise. Leaf than goes on to define these qualities and to help the reader see why they are qualities to cultivate in one's life. This book, although it is a picture book, is suitable for all ages. It would make a great graduation gift for any level. It's worth reviewing on every birthday or at least once a year on some other occasion. Although some specific etiquette issues are raised toward the end of the book, this is a broader book than just etiquette. You won't find table manners and such -- only the basics in getting along with others. But this book is foundational to all the etiquette books. No home with children should be without it. Click on image to enlarge it for more detail. Hardcover with dust jacket. BTH-5137. $13.86-D
If Everybody Did by Jo Ann Stover. Paper, Bob Jones U. Press. This picture book shows children through cartoon pictures what would happen if everybody did some of the things they do (or want to do.) Examples: what would happen if everybody tracked mud into the house, spilled tacks, pulled a bud off the flowers, stepped on Daddy's feet, put toys on the stairs, etc. $4.94-D
Manners by Aliki. Hardcover, issued without jacket. Aliki takes on the topic of manners in her famous visual comic strip style. Some pages feature a single large panel. Most show children acting out a manners lesson through a series of 9-16 small cartoon-type pictures. Some picture lessons show children demonstrating good manners or learning them from another child. Example: Children greeting and saying goodbye to guests politely. Some show gross examples of bad manners: Example: Nine pictures of Daniel doing things like picking his nose, coughing and sneezing without covering his mouth, wiping his nose with his sleeve, etc. Heading at top is :"LOOK AT DANIEL." Then under the picture series at the bottom of the page is "DONT YOU WISH YOU DIDNT HAVE TO?" As the old saying goes: "One picture is worth a thousand words," and these pictures and the words that go with them will lead to a lot of good discussion with toddlers and primary age children. Even older children might be tempted to pick it up and learn a thing or two on their own. $6.93-B Paper, BTH-2632. $5.39-D
Rules of Civility: The 110 Precepts That Guided Our First President in War and Peace by Richard Brookhiser. These precepts are the very ones that George Washington copied out by hand in his own notebook. They were copied from a text used by generations of Jesuit tutors, and were considered the framework of civil behavior for any young man who would ever amount to anything in society. Brookhiser's introduction demonstrates how the simple notions of courtesy, respect, honesty, and humility are more likely to produce worldly success than the selfish Machiavellian traits practiced by today's politicians. George Washington believed material success without honor was worthless.
This is a hardcover edition, with a dust jacket. It is enhanced with black/white art reproductions related to George Washington. The rules are interspersed with Brookhiser's enlightening commentary, adding additional insight. Though a few of these precepts may seem a bit outdated, most are as important today as they were in Washington's time. Here's an example: "89 Speak not evil of the absent for it is unjust."
A perfect copy of this book is $14.40-D
A remaindered copy of this book, with a black marker line on the bottom edge, is only $6.93-B
Both are currently available, but stock is limited.
The Thingamajig Book of Manners, by I. Keller. People either love this picture book for preschoolers and primaries or hate it. Thingumajigs are slovenly in looks, dress, habits and manners. They are horrible examples. It is the small boy and girl at the bottom of each page who instruct young readers in the contrasting right manners for each occasion. My husband loves this book. Click on the image to enlarge it. I have temporarily removed the cover art from this listing because someone is linking to it without permission and using my bandwidth. I will be happy to email it to you if you'd like to see it. Hardcover, BTH-331. $9.99* Now out of print.
For a greater selection of books on these topics, please use our affiliate link Manners : You won't find many of the books on this page on that link.
See also Character Building