The Adventures of Muffin and Alexander: The Please and Thank You Tea Party

Dr. Barbara Levandowski
Trafford, 36 pages, (paperback) $18.41, 9781466962460
(Reviewed: April, 2013)

The Please and Thank You Tea Party is the fourth picture book in Dr. Barbara Levandowski’s The Adventures of Muffin and Alexander series. In their newest escapade, the brother-and-sister cat team uses the excuse of a neighborhood tea party to teach their friend Aristotle, a bluish-gray aristocratic cat, a thing or two about being polite.

Aristotle — or Ari as he is known —- is sleek, beautiful and a snob. He is used to getting everything he wants, when he wants it, and he cares very little about the feelings of other animals. He is demanding, rude and self-involved. None of the other pets invited to the tea party like Ari.

Muffin and Alexander decide to teach Aristotle a lesson about being polite by giving party treats – homemade dog biscuits, delicious tuna casserole and other special treats loved by pets – to their polite guests, those that say “please” and “thank you,” but withholding them from Aristotle.

Aristotle is flabbergasted and confused. He shouts. He yells. He can’t figure out why he isn’t getting treats. Soon, the ruse works, and with the help of his friends he learns that the words “please” and “thank you” are magic because they show the world you are polite. When you use them, often and correctly, the world is a nicer place to be.

The latest addition to the series continues the books’ tradition of modeling positive social behavior for preschoolers through the antics and imaginative play of these charming cats. The book could benefit from a more thorough copyedit to catch punctuation and tense errors, but the bold and playful illustrations by Frank Lowe are jammed with color and detail, and it‘s likely that fans of this series will be left wanting more … but asking for it nicely!

Also available as an ebook.

Author’s Current Residence
Round Lake, Illinois

Illustrator
Frank A. Lowe

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