Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Children's Book Review, Oh No, George!

Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson,

Recently I reviewed Chris Haughton's A Bit Lost, so I was thrilled to see this talented creator had another children's picture book out. Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton was published by Walker Books.(2012)

It's hard work being good all the time. And it's especially hard for a dog like George!

Harris is off to do some shopping. "Will you be good, George?" he asks. George hopes he can. He really wants to ... but chocolate cake is just so very delicious and he does love to chase cat... What will George do now? Chris Haughton's distinctive artwork perfectly accompanies the innocent charm of affable George, a dog trying to be good – with hilarious results!

George is every dog I have ever owned. I'm sure our labrador didn't mean to scoff the whole leg of pork we HAD planned to eat for Christmas dinner. It must have just happened. Same with George I guess. The expressions the dog gets on his face will make any reader laugh and nod. The dichotomy between what George says and what he thinks is also cause for mirth.

Kids will so relate to George - they'll understand the effort it takes to be good, and the temptations not to be. The publisher advises the age range as 0-3 years, but I believe Oh No, George! would make a fine read-aloud for pre-school and Kindergarten too. There is lots to talk about in the book, and it would fit perfectly into a discussion about impulse control. Because the text is simple and predictable, I think it also makes an excellent model/template for children's own writing.

I love Haughton's illustrative style. Get more of an idea of it at Haughton's own blog - scroll down to see lots of images. I would describe his style as minimalist, with a strong design focus. Kids will adore the bright colours with a limited palette, and the wonderful character expressions. George's owner, Harris, is much smaller than George, adding to the humour. (Haughton chose "George" and "Harris" for his character names - perhaps a nod to another favourite book of mine, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome?)

Check out the video preview of Oh No, George!

Don't miss my interview (including giveaway) with Chris Haughton here at The Book Chook on Friday March 23.

***Find more Children's Book Reviews on The Book Chook by clicking Reviews in the right sidebar.

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