Do I Have to Say Hello? Aunt Delia's Manners Quiz for Kids and Their Grownups
“What are you saying—that my kid has bad manners?”
That’s the reaction some parents could have if a well-meaning friend or relative gave their child Do I Have to Say Hello by Delia Ephron, author, playwright, and screenwriter of You’ve Got Mail and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
While the pre-holiday release date likely indicates that the publishers saw this as a gift book, really Do I Have to Say Hello is a great book for parents to purchase to read with their own child.
With clever humor and illustrations both reminiscent of Roald Dahl, Do I Have to Say Hello teaches the basics of good manners and polite behavior to children in an entertaining way. From good table manners, to how to behave at a birthday party, to dealing with the addictive lure of video games, Ephron lays the groundwork of how to properly communicate with both adults and friends and basically how to be a good person.
With questions like “What do you do with your plate?” and silly answer choices that include “Take it to the kitchen,” “Put it under your chair,” and “Toss it like a Frisbee out the window,” children will certainly be entertained while hopefully getting the message. (Um, the message that you take the plate to the kitchen, that is.)
Though it’s possible older kids will be interested in reading because of the humor and the funny illustrations, this book seems more appropriate for the four- to ten-year-old set, who are still eager to sit and read a book with Mom or Dad. Because the topics are widespread, one could pick and choose a few at a time and use the questions and answers to inspire discussion about situations in one’s own lives.
In a time when rudeness in social media and politics has unfortunately become the norm, Ephron’s book is a well-intentioned and well-crafted attempt to impart to our next generation the knowledge of good manners and polite behavior.