About the Author


Beth Brainard

October 4

Massachusetts and Florida

Happily married

Lots! Sons Zach and Nate, daughtesr-in-law Kate and Emily; step-kids Bob, Kaitlyn, Jenna, Allie, son-in-law DJ; grandkids Nathan, Claire, and Annie

Alma Mater

Writer and publisher (Good Idea Kids, LLC)

All-time Favorites

Apocalypse Now, Little Miss Sunshine, Bladerunner, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Thomas Crown Affair, Thelma and Louise

Julia Avlarez, John Berendt, James Clavelle, Charles Dickens, Kenneth Grahame, Ernest Hemingway, John Irving, Eric Nylund, Ayn Rand, JK Rowling,Karen Russell,Shel Silverstein, John Steinbeck, Hunter S. Thomspon, James Thurber, Kurt Vonnegut, Randy Wayne White, Herman Wouk

R&B, Reggae

Clyde Butcher, Don Rock


Golf, travel, beaching it, reading, people watching, shell and bead work

Spectator Sports
Golf, hockey, tennis, college football

Anything spicy with a nice glass of wine

Southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico

Just the Facts

Author and civil kids advocate Beth Brainard is a veteran publicist who directed public relations efforts for divisions of Disney World and Harvard University and ran her own nationally recognized consulting firm. Over the course of her career she hosted a radio talk show for parents called Kids Don't Come With an Owner's Manual and helped draft the intellectual foundation for the K-12 Character Counts! movement of the Josephson Institute. She penned the earlier editions of her children's books, which were published by Dell in the early 1990's, and is re-releasing updated editions now as part of The Civil Kids Collection published by her own company, Good Idea Kids. Ms. Brainard graduated from Harvard University and lives with her husband in Massachusetts and Florida. She has two sons, four step-children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and three grandchildren.

See For Media on the Good Idea Kids site for a full media kit and photographs.

Mom's Choice Award

The Juicy Details

In the early 1980's when I was a senior in college majoring in organizational communication, I found myself widowed with two young sons. To support my family, I launched a corporate protocol consulting firm and garnered a national reputation advising business people in companies including Walt Disney World, American Cyanamid, and Cort Furniture on workplace social skills.

When it became clear to me that the things I was teaching adult clients would best be learned in childhood, I wrote the first editions of my children's books: Soup Should Be Seen, Not Heard! (Dell 1990) about manners, and You Can't Sell Your Brother at the Garage Sale! (Dell 1992) about common sense values. I also wrote and taught a children's etiquette curriculum for grades K-5 and hosted a radio talk show for parents called Kids Don't Come with an Owner's Manual.

After the publication of my second book, I was invited to help draft the Aspen Declaration on Character Education, which is the intellectual foundation for the Character Counts! movement of the Josephson Institute. That was a proud moment for me, and I am happy to report that the Institute continues its good work today and that Character Counts! is the most widely implemented character education program in the nation's schools, reaching millions of young people.

When the boys were still pre-high school, a second marriage ended somewhat badly, leaving me in dire straits. Fortunately, through friends I learned about a new Disney World project and was able to land a spot on the start-up team of the Disney Institute Resort as public relations manager. Cupid's arrow struck again a few years later, this time in the heart rather than the. . . you know, and I moved to Boston and took a position as the Director of Communications for Harvard College Library.

Just after the turn of the century, in between putting my sons through college, I finally completed my education, earning a degree from Harvard University.

I live in Massachusetts and Florida with my husband Paul. In addition to my two sons, I have four step-children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and three adorable grandchildren. Worrying about their future in a world in turmoil where bad character is rewarded (think Snookie) and civility is on the decline (think US House of Representatives) has prompted me to get back into the book business.


Photo Captions

Author Beth Brainard with grandson Nathan and husband Paul.

Jacket cover photo of the author and illustrator Sheila Behr in 1992 when big hair was IN.

Palm trees from Beth's beloved Coconut Grove.

People Who Inspire Me

Estee Lauder, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Nelson Mandela, Clara Barton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Randy Wayne White, Paul Farmer, Guy Kawasaki

My Wish List

Help lots of kids and parents with my books

Connect and build a community of "weavers"

Finish my novel—I love it so much

Play my drum and make the kids dance

Buy a boat

Make magic