Saturday, October 16, 2010

Behave Yourself! Being a Pig Is Nice: A Child's Eye View of Manners by Sally Lloyd-Jones

When you are a PIG, it's not polite to be clean. It's very rude.

You have to get muddy or you get in trouble.

And when you're filthy and yucky enough, your daddy will say, "Good job, my little piggy, all nice and muddy and ready for bed.

BUT, when you ARE a PIG, you smell...and that's not nice!"

There are plenty of laughs at the crucial differences between appropriate human and animal behaviors in Sally Lloyd-Jones' Being a Pig Is Nice: A Child's-Eye View of Manners, (Schwartz & Wade, 2009) but if you look just a bit beneath the surface, there's also some subtle teachings on the reasons for human manners. Skipping the nightly bath and going to bed filthy may seem a treat, but smelling like a PIG--not so much!

Lloyd-Jones points up the other side of being an owl and making noise all night. ("Stop that naughty sleeping right now! Don't make me fly over there or you'll be sorry!") and being a monkey ("You know the drill, young lady! Mouth open wide and show me your food! Now burp like a good little monkey!") Elephants get to splash everyone whether they like it or not, and snails get to dawdle even when they're impatient. And monsters? Your mom is always saying, "Are you going to be good? I HOPE NOT!"

But owls have to eat mice for breakfast, and snails have to be slimy, and monkeys have to eat grubs out of everyone's ears, and even monsters can't ever be good, even if they're in a mellow mood, so maybe it's not so bad just to be a polite child sometimes!

In Being a Pig Is Nice: A Child's-Eye View of Manners, Sally Lloyd-Jones and cartoonist/artist Don Krall enjoy a humorous look at human etiquette, poking gentle fun at moms and their warnings, but all in all making it seem generally preferable to stick to our tried and true human ways.

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