Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur by Judy Sierra and Tim Bowers

Manners are nice to have, but the process of instilling them can be kinda boring since more often than not, parents end up nagging their kids to mind their P’s and Q’s. To be fair, though, most kids don’t mean to be rude — they’re probably too preoccupied with having fun to remember the myriad dull rules that adults come up with.

Thus, Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur tries to make learning manners fun for the little ones — and it succeeds, too.

As the title suggests, the book proposes a fantastical scenario where you happen to run into a (very genial and unintimidating) dinosaur — way more exciting than plain ol’ people, no? — in the supermarket, and hence, need to know what to say to her: 1. when you first meet; 2. if you need to get past the dinosaur; 3. if you accidentally knock into the dinosaur; 4. if the dinosaur helps you out, etc. — which happen to be the basic manners that we hope our kids will learn and remember.

The amusing storyline is fresh and engaging, and it helps that the main body text is written in rhyme so it’s a breeze to read out loud. The actual learning points — what to say in the various situations — are also cleverly written in direct speech and are incorporated into the expressive artwork within large speech bubbles that encourage the child to read them out loud instead of just being a passive reader.

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Don’t be surprised if your kid asks for this book to be read over and over either — and learns some manners along the way! Sure beats nagging, doesn’t it?

Note: There is one flaw in the text though, where the dinosaur declines some candy because it “would make her fat”, so if you’re afraid such ideas will lead to the child developing body-image issues, then don’t read it. For me, I just chose not to draw any attention to it because I liked most of the book.

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