What Do You Say, Dear?

What Do You Say, Dear?


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What do you say when:

  • You bump into a crocodile on a crowded city street?
  • A nice gentleman introduces you to a baby elephant?
  • The Queen feeds you so much spaghetti that you don’t fit in your chair anymore?

This is the funniest book of manners you’ll ever read!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064431125
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/25/1986
Series: Trophy Picture Bks.
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 48
Sales rank: 223,582
Product dimensions: 8.25(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.00(d)
Lexile: 530L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Sesyle Joslin is the author of What Do You Say, Dear? and What Do You Do, Dear?

Maurice Sendak’s children’s books have sold over 30 million copies and have been translated into more than 40 languages. He received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are and is the creator of such classics as In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, Higglety Pigglety Pop!, and Nutshell Library. In 1970 he received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Illustration, in 1983 he received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association, and in 1996 he received a National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution to the arts in America. In 2003, Sendak received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an annual international prize for children’s literature established by the Swedish government.

Customer Reviews

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What Do You Say Dear 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
conuly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book tries to teach manners (no idea if it's successful), and avoids being totally condescending and didactic by putting them all in the case of bizarre, childish make-believe scenarios. What do you say when you're walking backwards to town (because you like to do that) and bump into an alligator? What do you say when you're flying your plane and remember the Duchess asked you to drop in, so you do and break her roof? It's silliness incarnate, and you have to love it!There are three scenarios in particular that reviewers have commented on, so let's tackle those.The first is the "decapitation". In this case you're asked what you say when you're out picking flowers in front of your castle, a dragon appears and breathes smoke at you, and then a knight saves you by chopping off its head. (You say thank you.)There's no blood or anything gory shown, and as far as I'm concerned the princess being saved from the dragon by the knight is a common fairy tale set-up. I don't have a problem with this. There are more violent scenes in both classic and recent Disney animated films, nobody is claiming the dragon was talking and friendly and just violently attacked - I have no problem with this scene for this age group. Let's move on.The next one is where you are a cowboy. Suddenly the bad guy shows up and holds a gun to your head and asks "Would you like me to shoot a hole in your head?" (You say "no thank you", which strikes me as perfectly sensible.)This one is a bit trickier. I'll be honest and skip ahead a bit by saying I, personally have no problem with ANY of this book - but in this case I can really see why some people do. The scene is a bit explicit, and the Western is no longer a popular form of drama anyway so it's not like this situation is likely to have come up in your child's play.However, as nobody actually gets hurt, I'd say most kids won't even notice to be upset. There's more violent scenes on cartoons in the morning.And the last one that people have complained about is the one where you're a pirate and have captured a lady and tied her up. Every morning when you untie her to eat breakfast she says "Good morning, how are you?" and you are supposed to say the same.As far as this goes... meh. Clearly nobody is being particularly ill-treated.Now, overall, I don't mind any of these scenes because I know quite a few children. This sort of thing and more is exactly what they come up with when they're playing pretend. If you think children do not play-act violence you are very much mistaken. They do. They do it because it's exciting. They do it because it's fun to practice being really bad in a safe way that doesn't actually harm anyone, when in real life they work so hard to be GOOD. They do it because these things scare them and playing them makes them less scary. They do because the stories they are exposed to have violence there, explicit or implied, and they want to understand that. They do because you can't have a good story without a villain. And children have been doing this for as long as there have been children to play pretend at all. I do not believe that this is in any way linked to actual violence when these children grow up.Obviously if your child is bothered by this sort of pretend violence, don't read them this book. Or if you are. However, truthfully, I don't think it's that big a deal in this context.
annekiwi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I remember this book from my childhood and I LOVED this book. I cannot stress enough how wonderful it is. It addressed all sorts of situations and what a polite person should say in them, but in such humorous ways that my 4 year old was quoting them to his dad, his grandma, his aunt, anyone who would listen and then just chortling. Each situation is described (you're walking down the street backward and you bump into a crocodile) and ends with "What do you say, dear?" The answers range from things like "May I have more, please?", "May I be excused?", and "I beg your pardon." I've started reinventing scenarios for my son. When he "asks', "I'm out of milk", I rearrange his sentence by creating a story and ending with "What do you say, dear?" and I try to keep them humorous and fantastical so that he finds them amusing but still gets the point ... "A band of pirates invade the kitchen and raid the refrigerator, drinking all the milk out of every sippy cup. You manage to drive the scallywags off with your sword, but the hard work makes you very thirsty and there is no milk left in a sippy cup. What do you say, dear?"
clong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The best book of manners ever! It even worked with my most recalcitrant of three year olds.In today's world we'd never get a children's book that would ask questions like . . . "You are a cowboy riding around the range. Suddenly Bad-Nose Bill comes up behind you with a gun. He says, 'Would you like me to shoot a hole in your head?' What do you say, dear?"That's our loss. . .
christy_wooke More than 1 year ago
Amazing!! This is a manner book, but told with hilariously silly situations. What do you say, dear, when a man selling bears on the corner asks you if you would like one? No, thank you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book!! I too read this when I was a child. Now more than ever, children need guidelines and rules est. while they are young. I have seen TOO many kids behaving poorly towards other children and adults. I love the fantasy aspect of the book. Children learn by playing and PRETENDING.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book...my mom read this to me as a child and I enjoyed it. Its a fun, entertaining way for kids to learn manners and such.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this book to my children and then sharing it in my classroom. I am going to buy a copy for each of my now adult children to share with their own children, at their request. The aspects of violence referred to by other readers can be explained as fantasy or pretend. Children can accept the fact that they may not try or do all the things they see in books. They do get the idea of good manners from this one. In my classroom I have heard children reminding each other of manners by references to the book. 'You supposed to say you're sorry if you bump into someone.' The real message gets through!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember this from many years ago, when I was young. I have long wanted a copy of it for my children. The basic message is to be polite no matter how extreme the situation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am another mom of a preschooler who found the guns and beheading of dragons a bit much. I ended up skipping these pages when I read it to my son and quickly returning it to the library!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The lady's review above is what's wrong with the children today! This does not in any way teach violence. It is a book and that is all!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The idea is great! maurice Sendak is a classic! But cutting heads off dragons and the like is a bit much for my pre schooler. I think this is an older book and back in the days violence was never questioned. it's really old-school in that aspect. Better for older kids, i guess.