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Emily Post's The Guide to Good Manners for Kids    by Peggy Post, Cindy P. Senning & Steve Bjorkman order for
Emily Post's The Guide to Good Manners for Kids
by Peggy Post
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)

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* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

In the tradition of the famed (since 1922) Emily Post, third-generation Post family authors Peggy Post and Cindy Post Senning offer young people and their parents a 21st century comprehensive reference guide in Emily Post's The Guide to Good Manners for Kids. The book's Introduction explains the meaning and origin of the word 'etiquette'. In 18th century France during the reign of King Louis XIV, signs were posted on lawns and gardens during royal parties, directing guests where they should and should not walk, e.g. 'Please don't walk on the flowers'. Thus the French term etiquette ( translated to little signs). The word has carried into present time every day activities built around honesty, consideration, and respect.

Through the book's directives, Peggy and Cindy encourage the 'gift of good manners' to develop 'self-respect and self-confidence'. Chapters include 'Everyday Life (Winning With Words)', 'At Home', 'At School', and 'At Play'. There are informative side bars, short quizzes, suggestions for timely behavior, and safety tips. Topics include when to use email vs. hand-written postal-mail notes; safe use of the Internet; politeness in cell phone use and conversation; helping out at home; and behavior at malls and theaters. Additional sections cover 'the art of conversation' using words as well as facial and body language, and manners at the theater, hospital, and in church. 'Picture This' sections advise what to do in certain situations. In short, the authors promote 'always, common courtesies'.

It's an admirable book on an always relevant subject, updated to today's technology, e.g. cell phones and 'On-Line Etiquette'. Steve Bjorkam's black and white sketches add an emphasis on expression, as in 'Disagreements, Arguments, and Fights', accompanied by sketches of two girls, arms folded and with a sulky look on their faces. I recommend Emily Post's The Guide to Good Manners for Kids to you; it belongs in homes, in public and school libraries, and in the school curriculum.

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