Diane Prather: Whoopi gives advice to ‘you’ in children’s book
Craig — You’ll never see Whoopi Goldberg with her finger in her nose. It’s just bad manners – and “ucky,” too. And that’s just one example of bad manners. The reader will find plenty more in this week’s book.
“Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners,” a picture book by Whoopi Goldberg, is fun to read and educational, too. The book’s pictures were done by Olo (Alexander “Olo” Sroczynski).
The book is intended for ages 4 and up.
The advice in the book is addressed to “you.” As the book begins, a boy is sitting alone on a bus seat, probably for a good reason. He’s about to put his finger in his nose, and the other passengers (including a baby, a toothless old man with a cane, and a green creature of some kind) are shocked.
“Nobody wants to see your finger in your nose.” That’s the advice, but there’s more about this bad manner later on in the book.
The next two pages remind the reader to use special (rarely used) words such as “please” and “thank you.” But not using these words isn’t as bad as interrupting.
In the illustration on the next two pages (each bad manner is featured on two pages), two girls are trying on dress-up clothes that they take from a trunk. As they put on high-heeled shoes and jewelry, they’re in the middle of a great story.
A kitty-cat, holding a suitcase in each paw and a litter box scoop under his “arm,” interrupts the girls with a loud “meow.” The girls acknowledge kitty, but go right on with their story.
Kitty meows louder and louder. He has the right to be upset because his litter box hasn’t been cleaned. However, he probably would have gotten further if he’d said “excuse me” instead of interrupting with his meows.
The book continues in this way, building the bad manners until the end, when the author deals with the worst bad manner of all.
There are two interesting pages at the end of the book. They give the reader information about manners in other countries. For example, in China, it is not impolite to slurp soup. However, slurping soup in other places is a bad manner.
And in Japan, it’s not polite to eat or drink while talking down the street. Cows are exempt from this rule.
Olo’s pictures are quite unique. They’re partially drawn, partially done from parts cut from actual photographs. For example, one of kitty’s suitcases is made from a photo of a real fabric. A rose on one of the hats has been cut from a photo, too, and so have the people who are looking down from a museum gallery.
This is a fun book, indeed. It’s published by Jump at The Sun: Hyperion Books for Children (2007) and sells for $15.99 in hardcover.
Sasha Nelson left this book for me at the library’s front desk. If you’d like to see a book reviewed, call me at 824-8809, or write me at Box 415, Craig 81626.
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