Babette Cole, Author, Babette Cole, Illustrator . Peachtree $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-257-6

Compared to Cole's unmannerly The Bad Good Manners Book, this guide offers reasonable advice on table settings, fine dining and how to comport oneself. On the other hand, its recommendations are dispensed by a matronly Scottish deerhound and carried out by her wolfish pack of yearling pups, who run roughshod through Longtail Castle in Lochbone, Scotland, setting up a kind of Emily Post Do's and Don'ts. One she-dog showers her brother with hors d'oeuvres, despite a reminder to "Never bark with your mouth full!" Two boy hounds slyly demonstrate the ladies-first rule by opening a door for girls who are chasing a cat. (To eliminate confusion, the females wear pearls and tiaras, the males wear black bowties.) The book also models handwritten notes to Lady Snoutover of Pedigree Park and Lord Earwig of Great Itchington, Sussex. The upper-crusty addresses are funnier than the reasons for the letters, which are no more outrageous than "I really am most awfully sorry for causing your fall." Cole chooses a reserved color scheme of silvery gray and wedding white, then undercuts the elegance in her sketches of lanky dogs with wiry coats and abashed expressions. The pictured clumsiness and polite words fall short of hilarity, but effectively satirize good breeding. Ages 6-10. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/18/2002
Release date: 03/01/2002
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