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Bark, George Hardcover – June 3, 1999
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When George's mother tells her son to bark, he meows. She patiently explains that "Cats go meow. Dogs go arf. Now, bark, George." But he quacks! Then oinks. Then moos. Becoming less patient and more exasperated, George's mom takes him to the vet, who reaches deep down inside the errant pup, and, much to everyone's surprise, pulls out a cat! Then a duck, a pig, and finally a cow. George is cured, and barks at last! On the way home, his proud mother wants to show off her convincingly doglike son to everyone on the street. But when she says, "Bark, George," he simply says, "Hello." This is the simplest offering yet from Jules Feiffer--creator of the delightful picture books Meanwhile and I Lost My Bear. Still, his cartoonish drawings are intensely expressive, alive, and hilarious. None of it will be lost on the youngest of readers who will giggle every time George fails to bark, every time the vet extracts a new animal, and at the final punchline, too. In a world of often overdone or underdone picture books, this fine Feiffer creation is just right. (Click to see a sample spread. Copyright 1999 by Jules Feiffer. Permission by HarperCollins Publishers.) (Ages 2 and older) --Karin Snelson
From Publishers Weekly
In just a few pen strokes and just a few words, Feiffer (I Lost My Bear) outlines the playful scenario of a puppy who cannot say "arf." The images are striking, with no background details or props but the unobtrusive text. In the initial spreads, a big dog and a little one face each other from opposite sides of the book: "George's mother said: 'Bark, George.' George went: 'Meow.' " As George proceeds to quack, oink and moo, his dismayed mother grimaces and puts her paw on her head in the classic gimme-a-break gesture. She takes her afflicted son to a veterinarian, who snaps on a rubber glove and decisively repeats the title command. This time, when the pup meows, "The vet reached deep down inside of George... And pulled out a cat." Feiffer reverses the old-lady-who-swallowed-a-fly plot and boosts the giddiness with every barnyard animal removed from tiny George. The pen-and-ink close-ups of the dogs and vet are studies in minimalism and eloquence, and the characters' body language registers intense effort and amazement. Rather than being black-on-white, the illustrations get a boost from cool pastel hues. This pairing of an ageless joke with a crisp contemporary look will initiate many an animated game of animal sounds. Ages 2-6. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
the perfect book to accompany me to Florida for a stay with my three grandchildren,8,5, and 2 while Mom and Dad travelled.
I followed her advice. The first night I read it to the youngest. He was spellbound. The next night, my 5 year old stood by the door watching and listening. By the third, fourth, and fifth nights,all three were curled up in the toddler bed, following every word, every expression, every shocking moment of this charming and outrageous book. The best part for me? Finding the two older sibs taking turns reading Bark, George to their little
I read it to a kindergartner, and now she asks for it every time we read. She follows along with me and chimes in whenever the mother dog tells George, "Bark, George!"
This uber-simple story has charm, surprise, sly wit, and enough repetition of words to encourage the youngest reader. I've found it is a surprise favorite of some older readers too -- a second-grader quickly swooped it up out of a pile of books and wanted us to read it together.
Jules Feiffer is a genius. I had no idea he wrote books for children, and am delighted now to count this as one of my very top picks for books to read for (and with) children K-2 or perhaps older.
What I really like about this book is that A. It's a quick read. Anyone who goes through the bedtime ritual of "just one more" will appreciate that. and B. It is funny! It is just so much fun to read books like this and watch a preschooler's sense of humor begin to unfold.
Fanciful Fiction Picture Book: Grades K-3; yes, silly enough for third graders!
The Creative Teacher: Activities for Language Arts (Grades 4 through 8 and Up)