|Dinner with the Highbrows|
Author: Holt, Kimberly Willis
The first time a friend invites Bernard to dinner, his mother gives him a long list of rules to follow, such as keeping his elbows off the table and not speaking with his mouth full, but he soon sees that being well-to-do does not mean one has the best manners.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.40
Points: .5 Quiz: 174596
Kirkus Reviews (03/01/14)
School Library Journal (04/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (05/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2014 K-Gr 2—Bernard receives a formal invitation to dine with the affluent Highbrows, so his mom drills him in etiquette. Surprises begin when instead of eating at their home, the Highbrows take him in their limousine to an Italian restaurant. They grab utensils, offer an inane blessing, reach across the table, burp, and drop food. Bernard continues to recall his mother's teachings and maintains a high standard of behavior (he even goes to the kitchen to help wash dishes), but the antics promise to continue as the party leaves for dessert at a sundae shop. Brooker's buoyant watercolor and cut-paper illustrations are filled with whimsical details and goofy characters. The endpapers include etiquette tips set against the backdrop of a messy dinner table. The tale starts a tad slowly and tries too hard to be humorous. Bernard's clearing the table and dishwashing at the restaurant might strike some as funny, but it's a shame that the Highbrows remain clueless and crass despite the boy's good manners.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2014 “No talking with your mouth full.” “Elbows off the table.” “ Sit up straight.” Those are the mandates from the mother of Bernard Worrywart, who’s anxiously prepping her son with a heaping helping of dining etiquette for his upcoming dinner at the home of the Highbrows. He takes it all—the napkin placement, the compliments to the chef, and the offer to wash dishes—to heart, so imagine his surprise when the Highbrows take him to a fancy restaurant and he learns their table manners belie their last name. While Brooker’s expressive oil illustrations capture the Highbrows’ high spirits (and Bernard’s reserve) in depictions as generous and colorful as their manners, the frank but flat accompanying text is unfortunately unengaging. The book struggles to define its stance on etiquette, seeming to relish the Highbrows’ antic misbehavior while listing the basics of table manners in the endpapers. Still, the underlying caution against assumptions and encouragement of zesty enjoyment of life provide solid messages. This appreciation for joie de vivre and occasional moments of real humor (such as Bernard helping the restaurant’s perplexed but grateful dishwasher) make this an enjoyable readaloud for kids learning about manners—and wishing they could behave like the Highbrows. AA - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 04/15/2014 Bernard receives his very first invitation to have dinner with a friend’s family on Saturday. He is excited, but his mother, Mrs. Worrywart, is concerned because she’s certain that Gilbert Highbrow’s family will have impeccable manners. So, she begins a campaign of speed-teaching her son everything she can think of that is manner-related. The big day finally arrives, and Bernard’s head is full of all the dos and don’ts of good etiquette. The over-the-top, obnoxious Highbrow family could learn a thing or two from Bernard. Energetic and colorful pictures, rendered in oil paint and cut paper, are reminiscent of Boris Kulikov’s illustrations. The contrast of rude and polite behavior in the colorfully rendered restaurant setting will have children laughing and, hopefully, assimilating a few of the tips. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.