"IT'S A SPOON, NOT A SHOVEL" by Caralyn Buehner


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A manners manual for etiquette-minded children in the '90s, in multiple choice. Like its much earlier predecessors, Seslye Joslin's What Do You Say Dear? (1958) and Jo Ann Stover's If Everybody Did (1960), this book uses humor to sweeten moral instruction. Through a quiz format, readers are supposed to select the correct response to various behavioral predicaments. For example, when Arvin Anteater offers Arlo Anteater his own anthill, the correct response is: a) ""Outta my way, Blubberbutton!"" b) ""There's a full moon tonight,"" or c) ""Thank you."" The level of text's funniness may depend on the age brackets of the readers; the bulbous, color-laden illustrations will keep all ages entertained. Bright hues, weird angles, hidden pictures, and comic details (note the red-hooded heroine in the background of the wolves' tale) make the intriguing pictures fun to examine. In one, while the text cautions Walter Warthog not to talk with a full mouth, the illustrations show an eyeful of the mouthful. It could be that the best part of books on this subject is the vicarious glimpse of a mannerless world. Great guidelines for children in the formative years.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial