Oh No, George!
Chris Haughton. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5546-4
George, the hero of this dog-behaving-badly story from Haughton (Little Owl Lost), hits the canine trifecta: oversize snout, floppy ears, and an anguished expression. His body is a polyhedron of warm red and fuchsia, and the house he shares with his troll-like owner, Harry, is similarly bathed in supersaturated hues. George vows to be good when Harry leaves, but he promptly encounters temptation (“It’s cake! I said I’d be good, George thinks, but I love cake”). In a droll parody of an old-fashioned moral lesson, the narrator intones, “What will George do?” as George gazes out at readers with a familiar dog-in-headlights look. The suspense is broken when the page turns to a double spread of George chowing down, as the narrator cries, “Oh no, George!” The results of several errors of judgment greet Harry upon his return. A brief but impressive period of high-minded resolve during a walk is followed by the speedy return of the mush-willed George readers have already grown to love. Behind the dopey entertainment, though, there’s a carefully disciplined visual and verbal economy—evidence of Haughton’s substantial gifts. Ages 2–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2012