cover image Manners Mash-Up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior

Manners Mash-Up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior

Tedd Arnold et al, Dial, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3480-7

This follow-up to Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? (2006) and Knock Knock (2007) rounds up 14 of the usual suspects—the most gifted illustrators working today—and gives them one spread to explain the hows and whys of etiquette. Although a few contributors let their pedagogical instincts get the best of them, overall the results are top-notch. A few artists focus on a single type of troublesome behavior: Henry Cole empathetically depicts "Don't stare," acknowledging the heady temptations of "the new kid," "funny outfits," and "people's bottoms." Tao Nyeu constructs a wryly demure, woodland-themed sampler to admonish readers "Please don't pick in public"—as in one's nose, wedgie, teeth, etc. Most spreads are dedicated to guidelines for various environments, such as the cafeteria (Lynn Munsinger lets loose with an endearing cast of pigs), bus, playground, or doctor's office ("Don't X-ray your little brother," notes Sophie Blackall, in a spread that makes the most of her creepy aesthetic). If there's a first among equals, it's Tedd Arnold, who uses the "The All-Alien Slimeball Championship" to teach the essentials of sportsmanship. Nuff said. Ages 5–8. (Feb.)