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*Thankyouplease* by Pierre Winters, illustrated by Barbara Ortelli
Also illustrated by Barbara Ortelli:

A White Butterfly
by Pierre Winters, illustrated by Barbara Ortelli
Ages 4-9 32 pages Clavis Publishing June 2011 Hardcover    

This is an exquisite tale about six-year-old Nina, a grumpy and rude little girl. After Nina talks back to her mother, her mother suggests that Nina goes outside to calm down.

Outside, Nina scolds her dog Hugo, who curls up and whines. While pretending to be a ferocious knight, Nina hears a little voice coming from a hole in one of the tree trunks.

She peeks inside and discovers a circus headed up by a ringmaster named Thankyouplease. In the circus, she encounters, a blue elephant balancing on a ball, a cat balancing a bucket on its head, Hugo the dog riding a big bicycle, trapeze artists, and other fascinating characters.

Nina wants to join in the fun, but the only way she can participate in the circus activities is to learn her manners and use them. After a short series of circus activities - all including lessons in manners - Nina hears her mother calling her for dinner and wakes up in the grass next to the tree. She is suddenly polite and sweet, which has her mother “shaking her head in wonder.” Nina not only has learned her manners; she is using them.

The large, often double-page illustrations, will engage children’s attention as they pore over the details of the muted colors of Nina’s home life to the vivid reds and blues of the circus world.

This simple but delightful story is told in the present tense and shows not only the importance of using good manners but also what to say and when to say it: “It’s always polite to say “Thank you” when something is given to you,” the Ringmaster explains. Thankyouplease is an enchanting tale and a visual delight for children and adults alike, giving a gentle but effective lesson in manners. Very suitable for ages 3 to 9-year-olds. Highly recommended.

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  Maya Fleischmann/2011 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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