"People Don't Bite People"

Curb a bad habit and have your funny bone tickled too — the Baby Buzz Pick for April is for preschoolers, but there’s not an adult around who won’t enjoy the clever, singsongy rhyme in “People Don’t Bite People,” by Lisa Wheeler.

The hilarity begins, “It’s good to bite a carrot. It’s good to bite a steak. It’s BAD to bite your sister! She’s not a piece of cake.” A little boy is shown holding an empty plate, while on the facing page a carrot, a steak, a sister and a slice of cake are displayed.

Next, the book warns about biting a brother —he’s not included in the food chain — but kids are invited to sink their teeth into a biscuit, a plum and a piece of gum.

Of course there are exceptions to biting, “Some people bite their bottom lips. Some chew their ponytails. Some people tell you ‘Bite your tongue!’ Some people bite their nails.”

This creative, cautionary tale uses humor to put a damper on an act that parents abhor, as it lightheartedly reminds, “A dog may bite. A horse may bite. They’re animals, you see. But we can choose to use our words. We’re people, you and me.”

Artwork by Molly Idle features cherub-faced children displaying varied emotions, and lots of animals, from sharks, to puppies, providing identify and name opportunities, making this book educational as well as a lesson in expressing words with feelings instead of actions.

The Missourian is happy to suggest “People Don’t Bite People” in its ongoing Baby Buzz program, in which a new hardcover picture book is suggested each month for children birth to age 5; a review of the Baby Buzz Pick appears in the second weekend issue of The Missourian.