Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Book Review, Sunday, June 10, 2012: "How to Behave and Why"

Madame L picked up this lovely little book on manners on a lark, and she loves it! Munro Leaf explains that if we want to know why we need good manners, we should ask ourselves these two questions:

"Are most of the people I know glad that I am here?" 


"Am I glad that I am here, myself?" 

To have friends, to be a friend, and to like yourself, Munro Leaf says, "You have to be HONEST. You have to be FAIR. You have to be STRONG and You have to be WISE."

Does the name "Munro Leaf" sound familiar? It should, because he's the author of one of Madame L's most favorite children's books of all time, "The Story of Ferdinand." The illustrations in "How to Behave and Why" aren't as detailed and fanciful as in the Ferdinand book, but they're just right for the subject.

"How to Behave and Why" was first published in 1946, but it still works for Madame L. This summer, though, she's going to see if some of her younger friends enjoy it as much as she did, and she'll let her Dear Readers know the result.

Meanwhile, Madame L also found "'Someday You'll Thank Me for This!'And Other Annoying (but True) Life Lessons," by Marc Gellman, in her local library. It's for children who can read, unlike the "How to Behave" book, but it uses the same approach: Use good manners because it helps you get along with the people around you and makes you a better person. 

The operating principle here is the Golden Rule, with funny-but-true and true-to-life examples ranging from why you should speak up so Grandma and Grandpa can hear you to why you shouldn't waste your money on things that don't matter; from why you need up "Get Off Your Rear End!" to why "You Can't Leave This House Looking Like That!" 

Do any of you Gentle Readers have other suggestions for books on manners for kids (or adults)? If so, please share them with us all by leaving a comment here or sending a message to{ellemadame} [at]}. 


AskTheGeologist said...

Somehow I don't think "The Demolished Man" by Alfred Bester would meet the criteria...

I never worry about these things: I just try to work hard, think before I do, and be kind. And when I have questions on which way to spool the toilet paper... and I know Madame Elle won't take me seriously... (because that's an issue related to order) then I will stoop to read that column by Miss Manners again.

AskTheGeologist said...

Thought you'd never ask!
Answer: spool out from the TOP of the roll. :=)