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What’s it about?
Simon is a well-mannered, shy 11-year-old who is too good for his own good. But life becomes infinitely more interesting for him when he visits his Great Aunt Mattie and Great Uncle Philbert’s farm. Here the rules all seem to be turned upside down – even the animals are different. The parrot is a terrible loudmouth, and the llamas are named Mr. Rude, Mr. Crude, and Mr. Ugly. Good manners now seems to mean thinking for yourself, saying what you think, interrupting — and burping when you feel like it. It makes for an interesting vacation — but what will happen when Simon returns home?
Where did the idea come from?
Aunt Mattie is based on my own Great Aunt Alice, an eccentric Bostonian who impressed me as a small child with her wild white hair and off-beat ways. Her sister, another one of my great aunts, is the star of the classic children’s book The Peterkin Papers (she’s the model for the Wise Lady from Philadelphia). That was one of my favorite books as a child.
Simon, a polite and correct child, reminds me of my own son – and of myself at that age. We were both too good for our own good, and I wish I had had someone like Aunt Mattie who might have helped me realize that it’s okay sometimes to color outside the lines.
What have reviewers said?
“Sharp characterizations and crack dialogue will have readers laughing out loud.” –Kirkus
“No More Nice, illustrated with delightful pen-and-ink drawings by Cat Bowman Smith, tells a humorous story with a warm message.” –Booklist