All Messy and Sticky
by Mary Ann Waldron
Minnesota Heritage Publishing

"You only get respect by respecting others. If you hurt others, eventually you will be hurt."

Have you ever wondered how silverware was designed? Waldron has created a fun myth about its evolution on the table of Herman and Hanna. Herman was a silversmith, who decided to create a fork after the table kept getting messy and sticky. The table became messy and sticky because the family would eat with their fingers and then wipe them on the tablecloth, a problem solved by the new fork and napkin.

After the family went to bed at night, the plate and silverware came to life due to the magic of the northern lights. Harry and Anna, the children, overheard the strangest interaction, which resulted in the tableware we use today. Knife is strong and sharp, and he wields these strengths to be mean to young Fork. When he gets into a fight with flat Spoon, who stands up for Fork, Spoon ends up dented, and Knife is broken at the tip, making the top rounded. Knife learns valuable lessons about the difference between nice and mean teasing and the importance of being kind to others.

The book is written in chapters with many large and colorful illustrations that bring the story to life. Waldron ends the text with a list of manners and a fun homonym game that makes the book interactive. This book should appeal to young elementary school readers who will enjoy this delightful myth and the brightly colored drawings. The lessons included in the book are important for children to understand, and this myth presents them in a fun way. The list of good manners at the end will also be appreciated by parents. Whimsical, clever, and easy to understand, this book is a charming way to teach about kindness and manners.

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