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*Thanks a LOT, Emily Post!* by Jennifer Larue Huget, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Also by Jennifer Larue Huget:

The Best Birthday Party Ever

How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps
Thanks a LOT, Emily Post!
by Jennifer Larue Huget, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Ages 4-7 40 pages Schwartz & Wade September 2009 Hardcover    

The days of elbows on the table, slouching in chairs, and spreading butter haphazardly on bread are over. A book about manners has been procured, and now all behavior “not fine enough for those Best Society folks” must stop.

The children are miserable having their every move corrected but their mother is delighted with the contents of this big, blue book. She’s been reading it, referring to it, and hugging it ever since she bought it at Books & Sons. There is one part of the book she has difficulty with though - and her four children find a way to use that to their advantage!

Set in the 1920s, when Emily Post’s book was first published, this story by Jennifer LaRue Huget incorporates original material from Post’s early books. Appearing inside are Emily Post’s characters the Kindharts, Mrs. Wellborn, Mrs. Toplofty, and Mrs. Worldly, and rules such as “at dinner parties, it is absolutely essential that you talk with the person next to you,” not to mention Post’s preference of the word “telephone” instead of the slangier “phone”.

Although this book is about manners and good behavior, the author reveals the misbehaving side of all her characters - including Emily Post. The children’s mother loses her temper and slams a door, the children themselves write on the wall and have a pillow fight in the living room, while the dog chews on a lampshade. Emily Post’s past behavior offenses, which involved toy china and a goldfish fountain, are revealed when Mrs. Worldly reminiscences about the past with one of the children.

The characters’ clothing, the furniture, and in the details such as the writing instruments, the telephone, and the cash register all reflect the era. The illustrations are in color except for the characters from Emily Post’s books, which appear grayish-blue and slightly faded. In addition, there is a one-page afterword entitled “Meet Emily Post.” Here children can see an illustration of Emily Post and read about how she became a writer.

The antics in Thanks a LOT, Emily Post! are humorous, the characters are alive with personality. On page one, the text is incorporated onto a balloon about to be cut away from its young owner’s hand. Later, when the children are gathered in their rooms and preoccupied with their payback plans, the dog can be seen grabbing a soldier out of the toy box. When the children hear they will have to polish silver all day, one child is drawn facedown in his meal.

Use this book when talking about manners and all that the word can entail. It can mean the proper way to butter bread or polish silver, but it can also mean being polite, thoughtful, and friendly.

Jennifer LaRue Huget graduated from the University of Maryland with an MA in English. During her employment at the Washington Post she was able to interview many of Emily Post’s relatives. She lives in Connecticut.

Born in Germany, Alexandra Boiger studied graphic design in school. She has worked for Warner Brothers, UK, and Dreamworks Animation, and she has illustrated several books for children including The Little Bit Scary People. She lives in California.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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