The Goops

While rearranging books, I came across a favorite from days gone by. Goops and how to be them, a manual of manners for polite infants by Gelett Burgess. The book was originally published in 1900. Growing up we learned some of these poems by memory, and our children are also quite familiar with them.

What a treat for my sister to discover that Applewood Books has reprinted this classic. She soon after sent me a copy.

Who could forget part one of Table Manners:

The Goops they lick their fingers,
And the Goops they lick their knives;
They spill their broth on the tablecloth —
Oh, they lead disgusting lives!
The Goops they talk while eating,
And loud and fast they chew;
And that is why I’m glad that I
Am not a Goop — are you?



  1. Cathy O'Brien says:

    My parents raised us on that poem! They still love it, and gave Nell a copy of the reprint last year for her birthday. She loves it too so it wasn’t as bad as that gift might’ve been. Who wants a guide to manners for her birthday, anyway?

  2. riverblues says:

    I remember this poem from an anthology of children’s literature when I was small-probably the only thing I read out of the whole book. I introduced it to my kids and they loved it as well. Thanks for the memory.

  3. Cathy and riverblues: I had no idea that there were other Goops fans in Salisbury when we were all there…back in the day!

  4. We have a grandson now and memories from my childhood make me yearn for a children’s anthology that I remember loving so much. What I would give for that book now! The Goops was a favorite and I remembered most of it- thanks for supplying the last lines.
    Other favorites were the King who wanted “just a bit of butter for my bread” and the Little Red Hen. All the stories and poems had different illustrators as I recall.
    If anyone out there knows of this 50+ yr old book I’d love to know the title and publisher so I could track one down.

  5. Available through at this link

    (If the link doesn’t work, just search books on amazon using the word ‘goops.’)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: