Author, Mary Beth Jones, is a grandmother to a 3 year old girl, Aubrey, who the book, Manners Are Free, was written for. When Aubrey was 3 months old, Mary Beth went to stay with Aubrey for a whole month and at that point, started teaching her about manners and it is still an ongoing process, though now there's 2 of them to teach! Now there's even little Lorelei to teach manners to! With each lesson, Mary Beth would always end with the phrase, "Manners are free!" That phrase is exactly what inspired the title of the book. The scenarios in the book are based off real life situations and she wanted to start teaching about manners at a young age. Mary Beth stresses that parents are the best role models for their kids because our children will mirror the things that we do. Parents need to be persistent and the thing that Mary Beth constantly tells parents: repeat, repeat, and repeat the teachings!
Mary Beth intended the book for children's ages 2 (same age as her granddaughter when the book was written) up to about age 6. Although, there was an 8 year old boy that Mary Beth met that loved reading his manners book frequently and was excited to use her book for an upcoming book report. I found that the book was a little advanced for Kiggster at 18 months old, when I first received the book, since she rarely sat still for a whole book. However, recently as I've been reading the book to her, she's actually sat through pages of the book and started participating by pointing to the colorful pictures within the book! I also felt the book was a really great resource for Honey and I to read, seeing all the different scenarios in the book about saying please, thank you, sorry, etc. I rarely have time or get engaged enough to read a 300 page instructional book on how to teach my child manners so it's nice to have a "children's book" on manners that has colorful pictures and simple but wonderful scenarios that we as parents can start applying immediately. Sometimes I feel like I'm the kid and not Kiggster because I always do a pre-screen of all her books to see if I like them and if I enjoyed the pictures. I love children's books so if I don't like something, I know she probably won't either!
As I mentioned, the book has a great number of scenarios that go beyond your basic manners of please and thank you but takes it into the playground, after meals, etc. There are cute little rhymes within the book that also make it fun to read out loud to Kiggster. Having lots of fun bold colors in the book helped to also catch my attention and Kiggster's too. The drawings in the book were illustrated by Kathy Kerber, who Mary Beth chose off her incredible sketches. When Mary Beth was sent some sample sketches of Kathy's work, she knew it would be the right fit. Then when she received of a copy of the book with all the art work in color…she was blown away!
In our own journey of trying to teach Kiggster manners, she's definitely been pretty receptive to it. Although, she's gotten slightly confused on when to say "thank you." Instead of saying, "thank you" when you give her something, she says, "thank you" after she gives you something! We're still working on that but at least she knows how to say it! She has learned to say, "please" to us when asking for something, though now she knows if she says please, she can get almost anything she asks for! She's also gotten better with saying, "Sorry" when we tell her to say it but hopefully she'll learn to say it on her own soon without our prompting. I'm sure this will be a work in progress until adulthood…
So you want to know how you can win a copy?! Author, Mary Beth, has generously offered Kangaroo Mama fans a chance to win free copies of her book along with some Amazon gift cards! The giveaway will be going live on July 2nd and will end on July 8th as part of the For The Luck Of Liberty Event Giveaway prize package. Can't wait for the giveaway? The Manners Are Free book can be purchased directly from Author House, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles. Prices vary between all three sites but it is $9.95 currently on Author House, $11.95 on Amazon (Super Saver Shipping applies), and $10.95 on Barnes and Nobles. There is also an iPad/iPhone app for the Manners Are Free book, which I have not yet had a chance to use. However, you can download the Manners Are Free App for $1.99 off the iTunes Store by searching Manners-Are-Free (make sure to type it in with the hyphens too) . It comes with a pre-recorded audio version of the book, an option to record your own version, even some pages that have a "Paint Me" option for kids to "finger paint" the pages to customize their book, and a "Puzzle Me" option! So many options and great features all for just $1.99!
Don't forget to come back and enter the For The Luck Of Liberty Event Giveaway Hop and win some amazing prizes, over $140 worth!
Kangaroo Mama was provided product for free from the sponsor company for review but the opinions stated in this posting are completely my own honest opinion and not influenced by the sponsor company. Fulfillment and shipping of the prize is the responsibility of the sponsor company and not Kangaroo Mama.