Books About Good Manners for Kids and Parents

Looking for a little help when it comes to delivering some social skills and etiquette education to your children? Check out this list of books about manners for kids.

Some of literature’s favorite and most loved characters and seasoned etiquette experts tackle manners in a variety of books written for toddlers, teens and parents. Here’s a roundup of popular books that address proper etiquette and good manners for kids.

Clifford’s Manners

  • Author: Norman Bridwell
  • About: The Big Red Dog demonstrates his mastery of writing thank-you notes, saying “excuse me” and sharing toys – skills he learned from Emily Elizabeth, naturally.
  • Ages: 4-plus

Dude, That’s Rude!: (Get Some Manners) (Laugh and Learn)

  • Author: Pamela Espeland
  • About: This full-color cartoon tome is a great pick for the guys. Delivered with plenty of humor (and far from preachy), it tackles etiquette in the bathroom, on the phone, at school and more.
  • Ages: 8-plus

Emily Post’s The Guide to Good Manners for Kids

  • Author: Cindy Post Senning
  • About: Focuses on the Emily Post Institute’s three core concepts of etiquette – respect, consideration and honesty – tailored for the tween crowd.
  • Ages: 8-plus

Emily’s Everyday Manners

  • Authors: Cindy Post Senning and Peggy Post
  • About: In this charming tale, a young gal and her best friend Ethan discover the “five magic words” – and much more.
  • Ages: 4-8

Everyday Graces: Child’s Book of Good Manners

  • Author: Karen Santorum
  • About: Considered “wonderfully rich and instructive,” this anthology is crafted to instill manners in little folks (though Bono of U2 has said it’d be helpful for rock stars, too!).
  • Ages: 3-plus

Excuse Me!: A Little Book of Manners

  • Author and Illustrator: Karen Katz
  • About: Darling as can be, this simple and repetitive book is a great first for toddlers, covering everything from burping to breaking a sibling’s toy.
  • Ages: 2-plus

Goops and How to be Them: A Manual of Manners for Polite Infants

  • Author: Gelett Burgess
  • About: This classic, 100-some years old, still holds up as kids are introduced to a family that leads “disgusting lives” – providing laughs and lessons.
  • Ages: 4-8 years

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?

  • Author: Jane Yolen
  • About: Part of a popular dino series, this fun book covers burps, belches and all kinds of table etiquette.
  • Ages: 3-plus

How Rude! The Teenagers Guide Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out

  • Author: Alex J. Packer
  • About: “Humorous, non-threatening, entertaining and educational” is how the School Library Journal sums it up – a top pick for teens.
  • Ages: 13-plus

How to Behave and Why

  • Author: Munro Leaf
  • About: This staple, with its simple stick-figure characters, first appeared on the scene in 1946. Today, it’s still delivering its gentle messages on honesty, wisdom, strength and more.
  • Ages: 4-plus

Madeline Says Merci

  • Author: John Bemelmans Marciano
  • About: This iconic little lady shares her secret of being polite – just being kind to others. She, Miss Clavel, the girls and other popular characters show many basics of manners.
  • Ages: 3-plus


  • Author: Aliki
  • About: Booklist calls it a “lively primer,” and its engaging, eye-popping illustrations are sure to deliver some key lessons to your little ones.
  • Ages: 4-8 years

Mary Louise Loses Her Manners

  • Author: Jack E. Davis
  • About: What the heck happened? She paid them so little heed, it seems, that they’ve “up and run away!” Follow Mary Louise on her recon mission.
  • Ages: 4-plus

Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf

  • Author: Judy Sierra
  • Illustrator: J. Otto Seibold
  • About: The B.B., of course, stands for “Big Bad” – and we all know that fellow could use a few pointers. In this whimsical winner, Wolf has to learn manners fast when he moves into the Villain Villa Senior Center.
  • Ages: 3-7 years

Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur: A First Book of Manners

  • Author: Judy Sierra
  • Illustrator: Tim Bowers
  • About: What happens when a little girl meets a dino in the grocery store? She gives the friendly gal a few etiquette tips in another fun, read-out-loud rhyme book by Sierra (see above, too).
  • Ages: 3-plus

The Golden Rule

  • Author: Ilene Cooper
  • Illustrator: Gabi Swiatkowska
  • About: A young boy learns about this much-mentioned rule with his grandfather, who shows him it’s a simple concept – but tricky to follow.
  • Ages: 1-8

The Thingumajig Book of Manners

  • Author: Irene Keller
  • Illustrator: Dick Keller
  • About: The rude, large-snouted creatures in this zany tale will crack-up kids as they spit, scratch and pick their teeth – while delivering some valuable inspiration.
  • Ages: 4-8

What Do You Say, Dear?

  • Author: Sesyle Joslin
  • Illustrations: Maurice Sendak
  • About: From the artist who gave us Where the Wild Things Are comes “delightfully absurd situations and elegant and exceeding funny illustrations.”
  • Ages: 4-8 years

This post was originally published in 2012 and is updated regularly. 


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