Cover image for Dinner with the Highbrows
Dinner with the Highbrows
Holt, Kimberly Willis.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2014.
Physical Description:
1 volumed (unpaged) : illustrations ; 27 cm
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.
Format :


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Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clarence Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
East Aurora Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Elma Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenmore Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Newstead Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction New Materials
Orchard Park Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Bernard has never been to dinner at a friend's house before. His mother gives him quite the list of rules to follow--no elbows on the table, put your napkin on your lap, don't talk with food in your mouth, and so on. But Bernard isn't prepared to discover that the Goldsmiths think the table is the best place for elbows and feet, never put their napkins on their laps, and talk with food in their mouths! How will Bernard survive dinner with such an obnoxious crew?

Kimberly Willis Holt's funny picture book about manners and etiquette turns the idea of good manners upside-down. The fresh point of view in Dinner with the Highbrows will be appreciated by both kids and their parents.

A Christy Ottaviano Book

Author Notes

Kimberly Willis Holt was born in Pensacola, Florida September 9, 1960, but spent most of her childhood in Forest Hill, Louisiana.

Kimberly is a children's writer, most famous for writing When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, which won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 1999.

She has also won, or been shortlisted, for a number of prestigious awards: Mister and Me, My Louisiana Sky, Dancing in Cadillac Light, Keeper of the Night, Waiting for Gregory, Part of Me, Skinny Brown Dog, Piper Reed Navy Brat, Piper Reed the Great Gypsy, and Piper Reed Gets a Job.

Kimberly lives in Amarillo, Texas.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

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.--Owen, Maryann Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

When Bernard Worrywart is invited to the Highbrow residence for dinner, his mother coaches him on how to behave: "Don't forget, no elbows on the table. Don't talk with food in your mouth. And for goodness' sakes, don't sing," she says. However, at dinner, which takes place at an Italian restaurant, Bernard learns that the Highbrows burp, burst into song, and more. Brooker's oil paintings play up the comedic disconnect between the Highbrows' evident wealth and their boisterous table manners, pointing to how no two families are alike, but the story itself fizzles. The Highbrows may not resemble their surname, but dour, timid Bernard remains saddled to his. Ages 4-7. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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