Oh No, George, written and illustrated by Chris Haughton
Chris Haughton's fist picture book Little Owl Lost is a simple but sweet story about an owl who falls out of his nest. What makes this book memorable, besides the dry humor, is the unique color palette that Haughton uses to tell his story. Haughton treads familiar picture book terrain again with his second book, Oh No, George!, and again he manages to make his story feel fresh and funny despite this. George is a dog with some impulse control issue who very much wants to do the right thing. As the owner of my own George, both dog and toddler versions, I felt an affinity for this book immediately. And, Oh No, George! stands up pretty well next to one of my all-time favorite picture books by Jules Feiffer, Bark, George! For a great review of Feiffer's book, check out Excellent Kids' Books.
Oh No, George! begins with George's owner Harry telling him that he is going out. Before he leaves, he asks George if he will be good. George assures Harry that he will be good, but temptation is never too far away.
OH NO, GEORGE!
Kids will love the repetitions of the question and response - "What will George do?" and "Oh no, George!" Being a good dog at heart, George is abashed when he realizes he has eaten the whole cake. Geroge goes on to be tempted by Cat and by a dirt-filled planter. When Harry comes home the house is a mess and George feels bad again.
He offers to give Harry his favorite toy, but Harry thinks they should go to the park for a walk. George is tempted all over again as they stroll past picnickers, Cat and a fine pile of dirt. George does a fine job controlling his impulses until.... George finds a trash can. Haughton tells us, "There's nothing George likes more than digging in trash. What will George do?"
With their simple, easy to relate to stories, cute animal characters and bright colors, Haughton's books are perfect for reading to toddlers who are ready for real picture books a beginning, middle and end. I can't wait to see what Chris Haughton does next!