Manners Time by Elizabeth Verdick is part of Free Spirit Publishing's Toddler Tools series. It is available as a sturdy board book which works great for the toddler set (ages 2-5). All of the books in the Toddler Tools series are visually appealing, with bright textures and colors. The illustrations are truly lovely, with children of many races and colors represented.
The Toddler Tools books are designed to be used before, during, or after the more "trying times" that inevitably come with toddlerhood. This particular book speaks to being friendly, kind, and polite. With simple words, Manners Time introduces social skills such as greeting others, using eye contact, and saying "please" and "thank you". It also talks about what to do if you don't want something (saying "no" in a polite way) or if you burp, sneeze or cough. Apologies and forgiveness are touched on and the book ends by encouraging children to compliment others. I especially like how the author expresses that manners "start with a smile" and " then you add the words". At its most basic, this is a book that simply exposes young children to kind words.
One of the best things about this series of books is the "Tips Section for Parents and Caregivers" that is included in each book. These tips remind parents to have age appropriate expectations of toddlers. During the toddler years, most skills (such as manners) can be practiced but don't expect them to be mastered. For the majority of children, it takes years for manners and social skills to stick. Parents are encouraged to model the behavior they want to see from their children and to find ways to promote kindness and respect in everyday situations.
Manners are important as a child grows but the most important skills are the basics- kindness and respect for others. What we say to others is important - our words are important. That is something that a toddler can understand and practice each day.
Let Them Fly!