Wouldn’t it be nice if children were born with perfect manners pre-installed? If you find yourself having to say things like “Say please” a little too often, you’ll appreciate this lineup of my favorite “non-preachy” picture books about manners that you’ll love sharing with your kids.
Grab this free printable list of picture books about manners to take with you on your next visit to the library.
by Patricia Polacco
Natasha’s grandmother has work to do, but Natasha is so impatient. She doesn’t want to wait for Babushka to be done with her chores, and she makes sure Babushka knows it. But then the demanding little girl finds Babushka’s old doll and learns a very important lesson in an unlikely way.
Bear Says Thanks
by Karma Wilson
Bear is bored. He wants to invite his forest friends to join him for a wonderful dinner, but he is distressed (and a bit embarrassed) to discover that his cupboards are bare. But that doesn’t matter to Bear’s friends. The generosity of their gifts and Bear’s gratitude shine from every page of this sweet book.
Don’t Play with Your Food!
by Bob Shea
Buddy loves bunnies—they look so yummy! But the sneaky bunnies convince Buddy to play with them instead of eating them. After all the fun they have playing together, Buddy has a problem. He knows you should never play with your food, but now he wonders…should you eat your friends?
The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?
by Mo Willems
When Duckling asks politely and gets a cookie full of nuts, Mo Willems’s Pigeon goes nuts! He wants a nutty cookie too, but he does not know how to say please. You’ll laugh at Pigeon’s antics, but you won’t feel sorry for him. And you’ll learn that it’s always best to be polite.
The Grouchy Ladybug
by Eric Carle
It’s hard to imagine anyone more disagreeable than The Grouchy Ladybug. She’d rather pick a fight with her friendly neighbor than share her morning aphids. But in the end, the irritable ladybug decides that sharing might not be such a bad idea after all.
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?
by Jane Yolen
To every child’s chagrin (and every parent’s delight!), How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? reveals a surprising truth—dinosaurs eat politely! Hilarious illustrations and perfectly timed rhyme create the perfect backdrop for this unexpected guide to good manners for children.
Llama Llama Time to Share
by Anna Dewdney
When Nelly Gnu comes to play, everything is going fine until—uh-oh—it’s a llama-mergency! Llama Llama does not like to share! Hopefully he can learn that playing with friends is even more fun when you share your toys! And maybe Llama Llama will convince your little one that sharing has its benefits.
May I Please Have a Cookie?
by Jennifer E. Morris
If you’ve ever been caught with your hand in the cookie jar, you’re going to love Alfie. He loves cookies and he’ll do anything to get one. But when he has to find a better way to ask for a cookie, Alfie gets very creative—and a little sneaky! Eventually he discovers that please works best.
Nosey Mrs. Rat
by Jeffrey Allen
Jeffrey Allen’s Nosey Mrs. Rat loves snooping in her neighbors’ business. Being curious is a good thing … but being nosey? That’s another story. When Mrs. Rat’s neighbors get fed up with her snooping, she learns the hard way that spying isn’t as fun for the one being spied on.
Please, Mr. Panda
by Steve Antony
It’s hard for kids to remember to say please, and in Please, Mr. Panda, Mr. Panda’s friends have trouble remembering too. He has a box of doughnuts and he really wants to share them. But when Mr. Panda asks, “Do you want a doughnut?”, only one friend remembers to say please!
by Molly Idle
The next time a T-rex is on the guest list for your fancy tea party, this is the perfect hostess guide. Molly Idle’s advice would make even Emily Post proud. But just imagine a T-rex sitting in your daintiest chair. The hilarious illustrations will have your little one howling with laughter.
by Lisa Kopelke
If it’s runny nose season in your house, you won’t want to miss this one. Even frogs sometimes resort to wiping their noses on their sleeves, but Lisa Kopelke’s slightly icky book offers the perfect alternative. Everything is so much better when Frog learns to say, Tissue, Please!
There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
by Penny Parker Klostermann
If you thought the old lady who swallowed a fly was funny, you’re going to love the dragon who swallowed a knight! Not only does the dragon in this slightly twisted tale have a GIANT appetite, he also seems to have forgotten his manners. After all, do you think it’s polite to swallow a knight?!
Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
In Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, Amy Krouse Rosenthal turns cookie baking into so much more. Without being “preachy,” this treasure trove of sweetly illustrated character lessons is just perfect. So grab a cookie and a glass of milk! Learning important life lessons has never been so delicious!
Excuse Me! A Little Book of Manners
by Karen Katz
Excuse Me! A Little Book of Manners is the perfect introduction to manners for the littlest little ones. This friendly lift-a-flap book prompts children to respond to questions like “You burped! What do you say?” Lift the flap to reveal the answer as your child plays along. “Excuse me!”
Do Unto Otters
by Laurie Keller
When a family of otters move in, Mr. Rabbit is worried they may not make great neighbors. Mr. Owl asks him what kind of neighbor he would like the otters to be, and Mr. Rabbit soon discovers that to have good neighbors, you have to be a good neighbor!
by David Ezra Stein
Are your story times prone to interruptions from over-excited listeners? If so, you’ll certainly relate to the patient papa in Interrupting Chicken. Maybe you can get through this adorable picture book without interruptions. Then again, maybe not.
Penguin Says Please
by Michael Dahl
Penguin is having trouble getting the things he needs because he doesn’t know how to ask for them politely. It’s time for the young penguin to learn a lesson, but how can Mama teach him that there’s a better way for a little penguin to get what he wants?
What If Everybody Did That?
by Ellen Javernick
It’s easy to make a mistake now and then … but what if everybody made the same mistake, all the time? One boy begins to rethink his own impolite habits when some wise friends ask him an important question—What If Everybody Did That?
Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker
by Christianne Jones
From the time she wakes up in the morning until the time she goes to bed, Lacey Walker never stops talking! In fact, she talks so much she drowns everyone else out. What will happen when Lacey wakes up and realizes she can’t talk? Will she finally learn to listen?
Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf
by Judy Sierra
When B.B. Wolf gets invited to a tea party for storybook characters, he’s anxious to make a good impression. He consults an etiquette book and memorizes the rules, but can this notoriously nasty wolf make it through the tea party without offending anyone?
Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry!
by Samantha Berger
Martha does a lot of good things. But every so often, she does something that’s not very nice. She feels bad about it afterwards, but she doesn’t know how to make it right, because Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry! After all, saying sorry won’t fix anything … or will it?
Manners Are Not for Monkeys
by Heather Tekavec
The young monkeys at the zoo love watching the children who come to watch them. But when the monkeys begin to copy the manners of their audience, Mama Monkey doesn’t know what to do! Can she convince them that Manners Are Not for Monkeys?
Would you like to read some of my favorite picture books about manners with your children? Click to download my list to take to your local library.
Looking for MORE books? You can find more great library lists here!
Do you have a favorite picture book about minding your manners? Please share it in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks list!