Kirkus | July 15, 2014
In Neff’s debut children’s book, playful animals remind kids to mind their manners.
Gentle, funny phrases are often a useful tool for reminding kids to use proper behaviors. This book aims to add a few more to the toolbox: “Don’t be a whino rhino.” “Stand tall like a giraffe.” “Be gracious and always exhibit the regal behavior of the lion.” Neff depicts a series of lessons about manners as a safari. Readers meet giraffes who teach poise and confidence, penguins who teach “dignity and honor” (specifically, good table manners), lions who teach “courage and humility” (how to give and receive gifts graciously), and so on. The list is comprehensive and refreshingly old-fashioned; how many adults know to put their napkin to the left of their plate when they get up from the table, or how to do a box dance step? (Neff includes two diagrams, featuring the men’s and the women’s steps.) The safari conceit is clever and memorable, and sure to catch kids’ attention.
It’s easy to imagine parents or teachers turning to individual sections to reinforce household rules, or as a jumping-off point to discuss specific behaviors. Many parents struggle to define the behaviors they expect from their kids, and this book may help set very clear boundaries. A dozen bright, playful illustrations, including zebras congratulating wildebeests on a good soccer game, may help kids stay focused, and perhaps even make them giggle.
Tame Your Manners at K.A.M.P.™ Safari
By Loretta Neff; Illustrated by Anirban Mitra
Paperback: 36 pages
Age Range: 8-12
Publisher: AuthorHouse(March 18, 2014)
What to expect: Social Graces, Manners, Etiquette
We all know it’s a jungle out there, so it might be time to head to K.A.M.P. (Kids’ Animals & Manners Program)! Using wild animals and their traits as examples on how to and how not to behave in social and home settings, author Loretta Neff provides kids with an enjoyable and humorous approach to improving manners and etiquette and creating relatable experiences that put the lessons of social graces into perspective—including bullying.
“Don’t be a wild, loud laughing hyena …
unless doing so won’t disturb others!”
Here is a glimpse at what is covered: giving and receiving, table manners, confidence, poise, respect for self and others, graciousness, and sportsmanship.
The illustrations and format will appeal to the younger readers and the short paragraphs and bullet points make the information digestible for everyone. While some kids will plow right through this book, others will need to take it one digestible chapter at a time. Parents, caregivers and teachers that read along will even get some subtle reminders and useful tidbits to put into practice; and they can add some extra fun to the learning experience by providing opportunities to practice the lessons from the book—such as hosting a dinner party for safari animals.
This is an educational tool that children will enjoy reading on their own or in a group setting being led by a teacher. Thank you, Loretta Neff, for providing a well-written and entertaining resource that teaches important life skills.
Add this book to your collection: Tame Your Manners at K.A.M.P.™ Safari