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Four books on manners

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Social Skills Activities for Kids

Natasha Daniels

For some kids, making friends comes easily. Other kids excel at listening or discerning how people are feeling. In seven chapters, Daniels covers a variety of social skills and settings, providing prompts, exercises, and 50 activities to help children build confidence and learn how to handle the intricacies of relating to others. As children gain these social skill “superpowers,” they also learn character traits like deference, compassion, discernment, and kindness. Daniels writes with lighthearted humor and includes lots of fill-in-the-blanks that invite children to become active participants and add their own flavor to the discussion. (Ages 6-12)

Grown-Ups Never Do That

Davide Cali & Benjamin Chaud

Even though parents ought to teach their children manners, any kid knows parents break the rules, too. This picture book presents a comical look at what is all too true: Grown-ups make mistakes, complain, lose their temper, burp, interrupt, waste time—the list goes on. Parents and children will laugh together as colorful illustrations contradict the book’s 23 dubious and irony-laden claims, ending with, “Adults are always good. So you really should be just like them.” Beyond the humor, the book may foster disrespect, but it could provide an opportunity for parents to talk about the ways they and other adults fall short and why young and old need the gospel. (Ages 5-8)

Connoisseur Kids

Jennifer L. Scott

Scott, author of the Madame Chic books, wants to help kids become “experts in the art of living.” This book covers a wide range of topics including etiquette, manners, tidiness, hygiene, and health. With charming illustrations throughout, each chapter includes brief explanations and admonishments. Activities, rhymes, DIY crafts, and games help kids practice what they learn. Tidbits like dinnertime conversation starters, homemade wrapping paper ideas, and recipes for snacks, stain remover, slime, and house spray add fun and flavor kids will appreciate. Scott also emphasizes selflessness, reminding children, “Thinking of others and how you can help them doesn’t come as naturally.” (Ages 6-12)

365 Manners Kids Should Know

Sheryl Eberly

This book gives parents a comprehensive guide to manners, covering everything from telephone talk, gender-specific etiquette, introductions, and internet safety. The short lessons are intended for daily reading with simple follow-through activities. Originally published in 2001, the updated version includes sections on technology and digital communication penned by Eberly’s daughter, Caroline Eberly. Parents might want to alter or elaborate on topics like inappropriate touch, dating, and social media usage. The book is already outdated without discussion of popular apps like Instagram and Snapchat, but it refreshingly upholds traditional practices such as young men holding the door for others. (Ages 8-15)


VeggieTales co-creator Phil Vischer is passionate about Biblical literacy, a desire evidenced in his popular What’s in the Bible? video series and now his first children’s Bible, the Laugh and Learn Bible for Kids (Hachette Book Group, 2019). Vischer wrote it to “make the entire flow of Scripture accessible” to kids and to help them see they have a part in the most epic story.

Like Vischer’s other funny and lovable characters, this book uses humor, good storytelling, and language children can relate to while giving them a better understanding of the Biblical narrative. Its 52 five-minute stories, geared for ages 5-8, span Genesis to Revelation. Each colorfully illustrated story points to “God’s rescue plan and the good news of Jesus’ love” and ends with opportunities for families to connect with questions called “tricky bits,” talking and prayer points, and fun facts. —M.J.

Mary Jackson

Mary is a book reviewer and senior writer for WORLD. She is a World Journalism Institute and Greenville University graduate who previously worked for the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal. Mary resides with her family in the San Francisco Bay area.



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