Two impossibly neat and polite youngsters attempt to rein in their father’s madcap (but undeniably cheery) mealtime missteps.
In a twist on common expectations, two kids must teach their parent how to adopt an appropriate tableside manner. Their father’s a sweet fellow, but each day at dinner, Evie and Simon must work to correct his less-than-sterling conduct. From “no yelling” and “no reaching” to “[f]ood is for eating, not for playing,” the kids lay out the rules. Unsurprisingly, Father has lost his taste for eating by the time Friday rolls around. Fortunately, a surprise guest (his own mama) shows everyone how far he has really come. Still, not even Grandma is immune from the occasional slip-up. A list of suggested table manners graces the end of the book. Parents hoping to instill good behavior in their own offspring will clamor for this title, and LaReau’s light touch makes it pleasant to read. The art is appealing, although clearly in the style of an animated film; the book is one of a series that showcases Disney’s animation artists. In spite of Father’s comical oafishness, it’s clear that children’s best bet for learning table manners is their own parents.
The ill-mannered apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. Parents, take note. (Picture book. 4-8)