Happy New Year! Here’s a winner in my book:
*Picture book, contemporary, for preschoolers through 2nd graders
*Little girl and BIG dinosaur as main characters
*Rating: As I said on Pinterest and Goodreads, this is a book that takes everything parents are saying and says it (MIND YOUR MANNERS!) in a non-threatening and engaging way. My 2-year-old didn’t try to hurry me through this book (as she usually does if it’s not Dora or Thomas), so that says a lot! We found Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur: A First Book of Manners at our local library.
Short, short summary: A little girl is shopping with her mother, and she meets a dinosaur! Can you believe it? So, if this happens to you, what are you supposed to say? “Hello, I’m pleased to meet you” of course. This is how this super cute picture book starts–Judy Sierra uses rhyme to introduce each “manner” and Tim Bowers’s illustrations are pure genius. What else do these two new friends learn in the store? Well, what are you supposed to do when her big dinosaur tail upsets a pile of apples in the aisle? First, you help the dinosaur pick them up, and then she will say, “Thank you!” What will the dinosaur say when you offer her some butter brickle candy, but she is watching her weight? Well, “no thank you!” The book goes on to present several things that can happen with a girl and a dinosaur in the grocery store, and each one helps children to learn what to say or do, using good manners in the process. LOVE IT!
So, what do I do with this book?
1. This is a fun book, but it is also an important book to discuss with students and/or children. So, read it through once, just to see what happens. Then read it through again, and have children practice saying each “bubble” with the characters. For example, when the little girl says, “Thank you,” ask the children to say it with her. Continue like this with children echo reading each speech bubble.
2. Create some “Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur” classroom scenarios. What could happen in the classroom if a dinosaur appeared. Could her tail knock over a pile of books? How would she get in line? What would she say at recess if she wanted to play with a ball? What would you say to her if you accidentally stepped on her foot while waiting to go to P. E.? And so on. Have fun with this and get some more practice with good manners. You could even have students illustrate a scenario and create your own classroom book of manners.
3. This would also be a cute book during a nutrition unit. What types of food does the dinosaur buy? How about the girl and her family? Are these healthy? (The dinosaur food is really cute!) Ask children if they would make these same choices.