Updated for the 21st century, How to Speak Politely and Why
is a picture book with a point: proper speech and good grammar without nagging. It aims to remove “ain’t” and “uh-huh” and “gimme” and “got” and a score of unfortunate nuances by a simple, sure painless and humorous process. In his signature style of amusing stick figure drawings and captions, Leaf makes clear such things as the difference between can and may, and the reason why one does not say “he done it” or “she come.”
Exasperated parents (and grandparents) faced with the unpleasant task of dealing with grammatical lapses acquired by their children from (gasp!) their neighbor’s children will be delighted (and relieved) by this veritable “grammar without tears.” Teachers will find it an indispensable ally, and even the culprits themselves—the children—will discover that learning to speak politely and correctly isn’t such a chore after all.