A bevy of animals demonstrates how good manners can help everyone get along.
Rhyming text leads readers through spreads depicting all sorts of creatures living in a not-so-peaceable kingdom until they adopt polite behaviors that make for greater conviviality. The animals are slightly anthropomorphized, and their cohabitation in a forest eschews any semblance of natural habitats, with red foxes, rhinos, pandas, parrots, and others all living together. The focus is not on depicting natural science but on using those animals as stand-ins for real human interactions. An early, representative spread reads, “Now no one likes mean, greedy grabbers. / I’m sure everybody agrees. / You won’t get far being a snatcher, / Polite pandas always say ‘please!’ ” The accompanying illustrations show two pandas in a tug of war over a stalk of bamboo at the top of the page, with a picture below showing one instead offering it like an olive branch to the other. Ensuing spreads encourage polite words such as “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” and “sorry,” as well as considerate behaviors that include respecting others’ personal space, avoiding crude language, never littering, and using good table manners. Throughout, there’s mild humor in depictions of misdeeds and comfort in resolutions showing the animals all interacting nicely with each other.
A playful guide to etiquette. (Picture book. 3-5)