Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Good Manners for a Little Princess

There are a lot of children's books on manners available today - even a number from Christian publishing houses. But none incorporates a Christian worldview as well as Kelly Chapman's Good Manners for a Little Princess. A spin off of Chapman's Princess with a Purpose, we meet all the same characters, but this time Caroline learns a different lesson: How to have manner's like God's princesses should.
The story begins with a class where the girls sit down to eat, but argue over the food, grab food across the table, bubble their pink tea, talk with their mouths full, and so on. When Caroline falls off a chair because she's not sitting properly in it, she has a dream of a fancy princess manners lesson where she learns the Bible talks a lot about manners and that The Golden Rule is the most important bit of etiquette she can know.
Miss Lily, the teacher, provides specific examples of what The Golden Rule looks like in life. For example, a Golden Rule Keeper loves others, while a Golden Rule Breaker thinks of herself first. Grace, courtesy, and and kindness are emphasized. The girls also learn a little bit about setting the table and dance the "Tutu Trot" to remember some mannerly basics (like "before you eat, say a prayer" and "cover when you sneeze").
The last page of the book has a short, fun quiz for girls to test their manners.
What I Like: My 6 year old actually found this book interesting; any other book on the topic seems to bore her. The illustrations by Tammie Lyon are also well executed and provide lots of interest. Most of all, however, I appreciate how well Christian principles are applied to manners; only by pointing to The Golden Rule can we even explain why manners are even necessary.
What I Dislike: It seems as though the author wrote this story to be a full sized book, but the publisher chose to make it a smaller one. It measures about 7 x 7 inches, which means the text is in a relatively small type and rather dense on each page.
Overall Rating: Very good.
Age Appeal: 4 - 8.
Publishing Info: Harvest House, 2011; ISBN: 978-0736937238; hardback, 32 pgs., $12.99.
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Special Info: Read our review of other books by Kelly Chapman.
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