Today I Read…D.W.’s Guide to Perfect Manners

D.W.'s Guide to Perfect MannersToday I read D.W.’s Guide to Perfect Manners, written and illustrated by Marc Brown.

Arthur dares his little sister D.W. to be perfect for one whole day–join her as she shares her tips and tells you how you too can have perfect manners. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it!

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This book is a spinoff of the popular Arthur series, following his sister D.W. There is another spinoff titled D.W.’s Guide to Preschool, which is approximately the age level for the audience of both books. Her tips on perfect manners are things that preschoolers can do, like saying hello and goodbye, please and thank you, sharing toys, cleaning up after youself, taking your bath and going to bed, and generally trying to be nice to people. The last page is a multiple-choice test with scenarioes, and you pick how to behave. For example,

“1. Your neighbour offers you something to eat, but it looks really gross. What do you do?

a. Say “yucky!” and stick out your tongue.

b. Run away screaming.

c. Say “thank you” and try a bite.”

This is more a book to be read to preschoolers than one that they can read themselves. The majority of the words are in short paragraphs with the same size font, and the vocabulary is too challenging for a beginning reader. However, the pictures are large and often contain details that you can use to engage your audience, such as pointing out when D.W. makes a mess in the bathroom during her bath.

My only quibble is that the book conflates the idea of being perfect with having perfect manners. I’m not entirely comfortable with the way this is phrased, though I’m possibly overthinking things.

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