Nod to a Caldecott Winner

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written by Amy Gibson                                illustrated by Jennifer Harney                          Boyd’s Mills Press, 2019

NEVER TRUMPET WITH A CRUMPET is a rhyming treat of good manners served for afternoon tea with the queen accompanied by ridiculously wild antics by some ridiculously wild animals, and so deserves a 5 Star rating.

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From the opening stanza, to the final word, readers are given a litany of rules, ranging from expected to outlandish. And the accompanying illustrations will have you gasping for breath as each formal mandate is flagrantly broken.

  • Curtsy. Speak when spoken to: “Your Majesty, how do you do?”

  • Sip your tea. Don’t lap it up. No blowing bubbles in your cup.

  • No reaching, grabbing – mercy me!- however long your tongue may be.

  • Leave elbow off the table, dear. No swinging from the chandelier.

 

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I can’t help but be reminded of an equally funny rhyming story of a series of invitations from afternoon tea to a costume party with the king and the queen whereby the invitation is extended to the peculiar friends of the young guest. Each invitation gives way to more and more unconventional friends until at last the young boy invites the king and the queen to tea with him and all his friends… at the zoo!

MAY I BRING A FRIEND? was first published 55 years ago and still stands the test of time. It won the Caldecott in 1964 and has been a classroom staple for generations.

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