Sunday, 4 November 2012

Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton

George is a dog with the best of intentions. He means to be good, he really does, but when his owner Harris goes out, George finds so many things in the empty house that are just so very tempting - a freshly baked cake, for instance, sitting on the kitchen table, just asking to be tasted. Before he knows it, instead of being good, George has been really quite bad. When Harris gets home, and George realises what he has done, he is extremely sorry for his behaviour. To make up for it, when they go out for a walk, George tries very, very hard to be good and not be drawn by temptation.

When I first started reading Oh No, George! I wasn’t sure what to make of it. But as I turned the pages and got deeper into the story, it simply got better and better. I think what put me off at first are the slightly unusual - ok, I thought they were a tad odd - illustrations. Although they are a different choice, they are bright and colourful and successfully convey George’s various different expressions and behaviours. The best part about Oh No, George! though is the brilliantly ambiguous ending. Although he has been trying really very hard to be good, George has just met his ultimate test. What will he do?

Chris Haughton’s latest picture book (he is perhaps best known currently for A Bit Lost), perfectly expresses typical dog behaviour whilst also managing to put across the idea of being good and bad, and trying really hard to do what he knows is, really, the right thing. It’s very amusing, and I feel is much more effective in getting this concept across than The Diabolical Mr. Tiddles, which I read shortly beforehand. George, for instance, shows true remorse for his bad behaviour and tries extremely hard to make up for it.

Haughton is definitely one to watch out for, and Oh No! George should be a big hit with parents and littlies alike. And the ending? What do you think George will do?

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