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Picture Books: Oh No, George!

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This week’s picture book, suggested by Cheryl Ashley, the Verona Public Library‘s children’s librarian, captures the looks I’ve seen on my kids faces as they contemplate reaching for that second brownie or cookie. Temptation is everywhere and what better way to discuss it than through a book children can relate to?

Title:  Oh No, George!

Written and illustrated by:  Chris Haughton
Publisher:  Candlewick Press, 2012
Suitable for:  Toddler and up
Themes/Topics:  Humorous treatment of overcoming temptation

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Opening (from the book):  Harry is going out.  ‘Will you be good, George?’, asks Harry.

Brief synopsis:  George is Harry’s dog; a hapless looking creature with a very long nose and droopy ears.  George has every intention of being good while Harry is shopping, but temptation snags him at every turn.  First, the cake.  George dearly loves cake and it is promptly devoured entirely.  Next, he sees cat.  George loves cat, too, and can’t resist a chase around the room, sending the furniture flying.  Several similar lapses in judgment follow and by the time Harry gets home, the house is a mess. Poor George is remorseful.  He sheds a tear and offers Harry his favorite toy.  After cleaning up, Harry suggests a walk outside, where George has several chances to redeem himself, and shows considerable restraint.

Why Ashley chose this book:  This is a humorous look at human nature, through George, the dog.  Children will understand George’s predicament.  Despite the best of intentions, it can be very difficult to resist temptation when it involves favorite treats and activities.  Children can participate in the reading, too, when the narrator asks, after every temptation, “What will George do?” which is followed on the next page by a resounding, “Oh no, George!”  The illustrations are described as “retro”, using bold shades of orange, purple and red.  The text is sparse and “Oh no, George!” will have the little ones laughing.

For more picture book recommendations from parents, author, teachers, and librarians, visit Susanna Hill’s site for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

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