D.W.'s Guide to Perfect Manners

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D.W. shows how to be "perfect" for a day by demonstrating cleanliness, orderliness, and good manners.
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Overview

D.W. shows how to be "perfect" for a day by demonstrating cleanliness, orderliness, and good manners.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After her brother, Arthur, dares D.W. that she "couldn't be perfect for one whole day," the younger aardvark sibling models good behavior in D.W.'s Guide to Perfect Manners by Marc Brown, saying "please" and "thank you," cleaning her room, and saying "excuse me" when she "sneeze[s], burp[s] or fart[s]." Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
It is not easy being a little sister, but D.W. is going to give it a try because Arthur dares her to be perfect after a bothersome morning start. Through her day, Arthur's little sister reveals how she is on her best behavior. At the breakfast table, D.W. starts her day using good manners and helpfulness. She continues on with her hygiene as she gets ready for school. D.W. demonstrates good etiquette with family and friends by using polite words and kind actions, whether she is at home or school. Arthur's sister even handles some of the embarrassing moments too. D.W. includes tips about table manners and being helpful at home. It seems a bit stringent to call good manners and courtesy being "perfect," but D.W. takes it all in stride and gives her best effort. This colorfully illustrated book from the "Arthur" series also includes a test at the back of the book to check your level of perfection. 2006, Little Brown and Company/Time Warner, Ages 5 to 8.
—Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-When Arthur dares D.W. to be "perfect" for one day, she becomes polite, obedient, and tidy. She makes her bed, says "hello" at school ("Nobody likes a grouch, so smile a little!"), shares, and gleefully obeys her parents' every request. The young aardvark addresses her readers directly, bringing up points as she goes through a typical day filled with familiar tasks. Unfortunately, there is no conflict to add interest to the narrative. There are a few snicker moments, such as, "If I sneeze, burp, or fart, I just say `Excuse me, please.'" The cartoon artwork is lively and colorful and showcases Brown's familiar characters. The final page asks, "Are you perfect yet?" with questions relating to D.W.'s experiences. Parents looking for books about manners will find this title a helpful tool to start a discussion.-Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316121064
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/12/2006
  • Series: Arthur Adventures Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.87 (w) x 10.37 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Brown
Marc Brown is the creator of the bestselling D.W. series and the hugely popular Arthur Adventure series. He is also the executive creative producer of the Emmy Award-winning PBS television series Arthur. Marc Brown lives in Hingham, Massachusetts, and on Martha's Vineyard.

Biography

Marc Brown recalls a phone call he received late one night at his home in Hingham, Massachustts, just outside of Boston. On the other end of the line, a small, obviously young voice asked, "Is Arthur there?"

"I told him that Arthur had already gone to bed," Brown recalled for the Los Angeles Times in 1996. "And so should he."

That such phone call is not an isolated occurrence at the Brown household is testament to the popularity -- and approachability -- of Brown's creation. Arthur is not simply the world's most famous bespectacled aardvark, he is also a kid just like any other, grappling with same issues his readers are: annoying sisters, terrifying teachers, and babysitting nightmares. Arthur may be a drawing, but to his fans, he seems quite real.

"I feel like I'm listening to my own kids," Carol Greenwald, who produces the companion television program for PBS, told People in 1997. "I have to bite back the urge to say, 'Stop bickering.'"

By now, the Arthur series has produced more than 10 million books as well as a hit television show for PBS and made his creator a wealthy man. But the early days were a different story. Separated from his wife, living with his mother-in-law and recently released from his job as a college professor, Brown came home in the mid-1970s to a request from his 4-year-old son, Tolon:

Tell me a story.

And make it about a weird animal.

So, as Brown reached into the possibilities of uncommon zoology for his son's nocturnal enjoyment, he also concocted the beginnings of a career. He took his new creation to a friend at Atlantic Monthly Press who gave him guidance, and he landed a publishing deal for the first book in what would become a series: Arthur's Nose. And the big money started rolling in. His first check was somewhere around $70 to $80. (The number seems to vary with the telling.)

"I was imagining buying a new car, and instead I got groceries," he told the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida. "It was about five years before I felt like I could make a living doing this."

Brown had long dreamed of illustrating children's books, inspired in high school by Maurice Sendak's classic Where the Wild Things Are. As a student at the Cleveland Institute of Art, he says he found that such pursuits were considered too pedestrian for the serious artistic mind: He has said his decision to include his illustrations in his submission for the institute's drawing award cost him the prize.

After Cleveland, he worked as a cook and a delivery truck driver who kept getting lost. He also farmed chickens. He found freelance work as a professional illustrator in the textbook field and even worked on an Isaac Asimov book for his first non-textbook assignment.

Arthur, though, eventually opened all the right doors. And, aside from that series, Brown has also illustrated books for other children's authors and drawn on his own life for books outside the Arthur titles. The end of his first marriage eventually yielded a children's book, Dinosaur's Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families.

"When I went through a divorce..., I went to the library hoping to find books to help my two young sons through the experience," he is quoted in Contemporary Authors as saying. "I found little information, and what there was very sexist, depicting children living with the mother and the father living in a depressing residential hotel. Our experience was different: my sons lived with me. I started keeping a file for a book I had in mind to write one day."

Brown makes no secret of his habit of mining his own life for his children's fiction. The Arthur books, in fact, are something of a family album: Arthur's sister D. W. is a composite of his own sisters, Arthur's adventures in babysitting were inspired by his own experience watching over two children who tied him to a chair and scampered off to find hiding places in their enormous house. Grandma Thora doesn't even have a different name from his own grandmother, who used to save all of his childhood drawings and later encouraged him to go to art school.

And when Brown and his second wife had another child, Eliza, he decided he shouldn't be the only one saddled with the less enjoyable aspects of child care. He gave Arthur a baby sister, Kate.

"I though if I had to change diapers," he told the Christian Science Monitor in 1997, "so should Arthur."

Good To Know

Brown changed his first name from Mark to Marc because he was so enthralled with the work of painter Marc Chagall.

He told People magazine in 1997 that Arthur is the spitting image of his third-grade class picture.

Brown dresses up as Arthur on Halloween, which makes his house a must-stop for the children of Hingham, Massachusetts.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Marc Tolan Brown
    2. Hometown:
      Hingham, Massachusetts and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 25, 1946
    2. Place of Birth:
      Erie, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      M.F.A., Cleveland Institute of Art, 1969

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