Oh No, George!

Title: Oh No, George!

Author & Illustrator: Chris Haughton
Check out the interview at Playing By the Book.

Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2012
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 2-5
Themes: Self-Control, Behavior, Decision Making


“George sees something in the kitchen. It’s a cake! I said I’d be good, George thinks, but I LOVE cake.

What will George do?”

Synopsis (from Amazon website):

George is a dog with all the best intentions. And his owner, Harry, has all the best hopes that George will be a well-behaved dog when he leaves him alone for the day. But when George spies a delicious cake sitting on the kitchen table, his resolve starts to waver. You see, George loves cake. . . Uh-oh. What to do now? It’s so hard to be a good dog when there are cats to chase and flowers to dig up! What ever will Harry say when he gets back? Chris Haughton’s fetchingly funny story and vibrant, retro illustrations are sure to lure dog lovers of all ages – and anyone who has ever met a temptation too good to resist.


Read the book aloud, and have the kids say the repetitive lines. Have the kids predict what George will do. Use the book to jump-start a discussion on everyday decisions that kids have to make and how to handle temptation.


  • Story Kit from Candlewick containing discussion questions and some printables (Sorry coupon, drawing prompt)
  • Writing prompts and coloring worksheets.

Why I Like This Book:

This book at first appears to be a simple story of a dog being left at home, but it is so much more than that as the reader gets pulled into George’s emotions of excitement, deliberation, naughtiness, and remorse. A great way to teach kids about temptation but also forgiveness. Harry forgives George when he makes a mess at home, which I thought was very sweet; a lesson I need to be reminded of from time to time.

There are three temptations in the book a cake, cat, and flowers which each appear twice in the book. In the first half of the book when a temptation is shown the reader is asked “What will George do?” followed by a full-page illustration of George making a bad choice and the words “Oh no, George!” He then feels remorse for making a mess and upsetting Harry, this is the turning point as you see George’s character grow. Once again George is presented with the same three temptations but this time he makes good choices. My favorite is the ending of George next to a trashcan, leaving the decision up to the reader of what George will do next.

This is also a wonderful, Read Together book. There is a lot of repetition and predictability in the book. The short, simple repetitive sentences my 4-year old “reads”, while I do read the rest. I also blend in the good choice/bad choice teaching method that is used in my daughter’s preschool classroom. My daughter will give me a thumbs up or down for each of George’s decisions. The  illustrations are simple with clean lines and bold colors, they are eye-catching. Take a look at the trailer below.

This review is part of Susana Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.


NOTE ADDED 10/16/12: This book was nominated by Eliza for the 2012 Cybils Awards in the Fiction Picture Book category. I am a second-round judge in this category, but this review reflects my opinions only, not those of any other panelist, or the panel as a whole. Thanks!




22 Comments to “Oh No, George!”

  1. Oh, Yes, I know I would love this!

  2. Thumbs up! Good choice! This sounds like an excellent, fun way to have kids think about choices and how to make good ones. Thanks, Darshana!

  3. This looks great…kind of reminds me of the Stanford marshmallow experiment, only for dogs! I’ll check this one out with my sons…my three and half year old likes repetition, so I”m sure it will be a winner. 🙂

    • hmm, haven’t heard of the Stanford marshmallow experiment. will have to google it. there is a lot of repetition which makes it great for kids who are starting to read.

  4. This book looks really funny, but it has a good message. I would like to hear about the cat… 😉

  5. This looks delightful, Darshana! I love the interactive nature of it – that kids can join in so well! Thanks for sharing – it looks like a great addition to our list! 🙂

  6. I also give it a thumbs up! Great way to reading to the younger kis. The book sounds hilarous. The kid in me want to yell “Go for it George.” Great choice. Liked the video.

  7. As you know, this is my new favorite for so very many reasons! Thanks so much for linking to my Read Together post 🙂 And so glad you and your readers love George as much as I do!

  8. So glad that you loved George as much as I did! And thank you for linking to my Read Together post 🙂

  9. Thanks for linking to my interview Darshana. We’ve a lovely Oh No, George! poster up in the girls room – brings a smile just to glance at it!

  10. hey Darshana, just found this site. congrats on a thriving blog and books in progress! this looks like a book Reva would love, now for the story and later for the lessons- I’ll have to see if it’s available in India!

    • Hi Smruti, Thanks for stopping by. It is a great book for little kids. I am reading it today for storytime in Shalini’s preschool classroom. Well you could always tell us to mail you a copy. 🙂

  11. We really enjoyed reading this book. As a matter of fact we had to renew it many times before we “moved on” :)) It was a super simple but clever book! Thanks for sharing this on Kid Lit Blog Hop!

  12. I love the premise of this, I think it better go on the TBB list, thanks for linking it in to the Kid Lit Blog HOp

  13. Love, love, love the illustrations – they are fabulous! I also love the messages in the book. I’ve got to find this one! Thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

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