OH, HOW SYLVESTER CAN PESTER!
And Other Poems More or Less About Manners
Age Range: 5 - 8
Manners in meter. Kozjan uses bright and cheerful figures with exaggerated expressions and gestures to illustrate Kinerk’s verse. The poems range from longer advisories in multiple panels to brief expositions with many spot images to full-panel spreads that reflect the waggish humor of the words. The poet never loses his light touch: Verses about cleaning one’s room, coping with getting the giggles and talking (not) at the movies get their points across. Some children are presented in narrative, like Chuck who takes a bath before he polishes his shoes, with inevitable results, or Eleanor Ickity, whose dislike of almost any foodstuff ends with her grossing out her parents with a plate of corn and chocolate sauce. Then there’s Egbert, who tends to drop his clothes everywhere, leaving him with not a stitch, er, behind. Kinerk slips the idea that good manners are really about being nice to each other in general. He doesn’t overtly quote the Golden Rule (Do unto others, etc.), but it underlies all the fun. Readers would do well to learn from the example of Claymore B. Tate, who is so refined that he cannot help but correct everyone else at table: “Manners aren’t lists of the things you should do. / Manners help folks become easy with you.” (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)