Oh No, George
by Chris Haughton (Author)
Oh, the drama of temptation! When George the dog is briefly left home alone and promises to be good, he really means it – until a very tempting cake enters the scene. And a very tempting cat. And some very tempting soil... What will George do?
As with his previous work, A Bit Lost, Chris Haughton knows how to establish a direct line to his reader. The text is sparse and to the point and never repeats the pictures, while the pictures themselves are bold and efficient and complement the text perfectly. Here too Haughton gets the structure totally right, with the ideal amount of repetition and change in the plot and language.
George is the star here. The range of expressions his face goes through, from doubt to guilt and cocky righteousness, is a treat in itself, although a bit more variety on the pages where the narrator wonders ‘What will George do?’ would not have gone amiss. That said, it is a wonder how Haughton manages to convey so much emotion and translate complex dilemmas in such a simple book. It’s all in the detail, of course, in how George confidently proclaims he’ll be good, but qualifies his statement immediately: ‘I hope I’ll be good’ and then ‘I said I’d be good’.
Far from posing as a cautionary tale and imposing a stale moral message, Oh No, George! acknowledges what hard work being good can be and always remains on its hero’s side, right until the delightfully open ending. George may or may not be good, but he’s great. Very highly recommended.
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