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DEAR MISS PERFECT by Sandra Dutton Kirkus Star


A Beast’s Guide to Proper Behavior

by Sandra Dutton & illustrated by Sandra Dutton

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: April 9th, 2007
ISBN: 0-618-67717-8
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

An articulate bird named Miss Perfect serves as the advice columnist for the Beastly News in this witty collection that entertains while subtly conveying information about manners and letter-writing conventions. Miss Perfect provides a short introduction to each thematic section, on the subjects of school, food, family and friends. Earnest letters from Miss Perfect’s young readers pose problems relating to each species, such as where an elephant should place his trunk at the dinner table between courses or if a truly tired sloth really must write thank-you notes. Miss Perfect’s thoughtful and kind responses are written with a slightly authoritative and old-fashioned tone but always with respect for the young writers and their particular problems. Dutton’s understated watercolor-and-ink illustrations are charming without trying too hard, providing a perfect complement to the humorous text. Teachers in the upper-elementary grades will want to enlist Miss Perfect’s help in their letter-writing lessons, and parents and grandparents who would like to encourage proper behavior from their own little beasts will find Miss Perfect’s approach commendable. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-10)