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Set aside a special place for children to keep their own books.
Summary: When Arthur says D.W. cannot be perfect for a day, she takes the dare. Wherever D.W. goes, and whatever she does, she describes the best way to be. This is a picture book that demonstrates the benefits of polite behavior.
Type of Reading: Family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 6
Reading Level: 2.7
Age of Child: read with 4½-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: As a big Arthur fan our preschooler was very anxious to read (and re-read) this book.
Adult Reader Reaction: We were very put off by the story. Working on one's manners is very important in our house, but describing the behavior as "being perfect" sets a tone we aren't willing to adopt. Additionally, we don't see a need to use examples of mean words for this target audience ... which tends to repeat and mimic what they hear.
Pros: The story's characters are easily recognizable by kids in the target range. The goal of helping kids understand manners is crucial and the character familiarity may help.
Cons: Be prepared to use words you don't want your child to say. In describing what it takes to be perfect, D. W. notes that looking perfect is important. Adding body image to the mix, especially for young girls, may be troublesome to some readers.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, if you're desperate for a manners book.