PPBF: What Do You Say, Dear?

WhatDoYouSayDear?CoverAuthor: Sesyle Joslin
Illustrator: Maurice Sendak
Publisher: Harper Collins; first publ. by Addison-Wesley, 1958
Age: 3-6
Themes: etiquette, manners, humorous stories
Opening: You are downtown and there is a gentleman giving baby elephants to people. You want to take one home because you have always wanted a baby elephant, but first the gentleman introduces you to each other. What do you say, dear?

WhatDoYouSayDear?TitlepageSummary: (from my library catalog) Offers advice on how to cope correctly with a variety of common and uncommon social situations. (That is such an understatement! The book is HILARIOUS!)

WhatDoYouSayDear?2Why I like this book: it’s ‘the funniest book on good behavior you’ll ever read’, according to the back cover – and I concur! And the illustrations are at the same time slightly snarky and heart-meltingly darling! Enjoy!

WhatDoYouSayDear?3Resources/Activities: Read the companion book: What Do You Do, Dear? (images below), by the same author and illustrator. Read them again! Come up with more common and uncommon situations!

WhatDoYouDoDear?coverWhatDoYouDoDear?1WhatDoYouDoDear?4For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

16 thoughts on “PPBF: What Do You Say, Dear?

  1. Well, this is interesting. I was curious about the author, and in Googling, I found a 1986 version of the book on Amazon. The Bad-Nose Bill scene had been changed from BNB kidnapping a child in a library to BNB threatening to shoot a hole in the head of the cowboy-child out on the range. I suppose kidnapping was too relevant in the 80s (when faces on milk cartons were popular) to include it in a PB, but getting shot was still too far-fetched to worry a child. Wonder how the scene would read in a version published today?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for going the extra mile, Carol, but this is the 1986 version, so I am left to ponder. Your question is a good one though, and I fear we would lose a massive amount of good stories if today’s PC rules were to apply.


  2. Ah! One of my all time favorites. I had this book as a child, and recently bought a copy. Thanks for laying it out here. Makes me smile every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Kid’s Review: What Do You Say, Dear? by Sesyle Joslin – Old Firehouse Books

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