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Winston & George Hardcover – March 18, 2014
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Practical jokers, beware! Winston, a patient crocodile, and his flighty friend, a crocodile bird named George, have been companions for a long time. Their symbiotic relationship allows them to work together to find fish and then share the meal. George enjoys playing practical jokes on Winston and his crocodile friends, getting a kick out of fooling the larger animals. The other crocodiles, fed up with George, implore Winston to just eat him and be done with it. But Winston enjoys spending time with his playful pal, so he rejects the suggestion, and the two continue as a team. One day, George's joke goes too far, putting his friend in real danger. Thinking the crocodile bird is up to his old tricks, the other river animals ignore his pleas for help. In order to save Winston, George must offer to make the ultimate sacrifice. Rich, saturated pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations in brilliant blues, lush greens, and deep browns and a bright orange George are a pleasure to peruse. With Aesop's "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" theme, this swampy story, written, illustrated, stored away, and forgotten for 50 years, offers a moral that is true and powerful: no one will believe a liar, even when he's telling the truth.—Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI
"[Guiliano] Cucco’s illustrations are superb. They have a wonderful grace of line combined with bright tropical colors that pop on the page…A humorous and dramatic look at an unusual friendship, one only wishes that Winston & George could go on more adventures together."―Waking Brain Cells
"[Guiliano] Cucco’s illustrations are superb. They have a wonderful grace of line combined with bright tropical colors that pop on the page A humorous and dramatic look at an unusual friendship, one only wishes that Winston & George could go on more adventures together."Waking Brain Cells
Top customer reviews
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The story focus' on the friendship of the patient crocodile, Winston and Winston's prankster friend the crocodile bird, George.
Author John Miller doesn't stint on descriptive and fun use of language.
"I...I thought I saw a danger prowling through the jungle," George stammered. "A dangerous danger, a very scary dangerous danger."
With a great read aloud flow and kid friendly topic (preschoolers through second grade ages love creatures with sharp teeth!) the story will keep kids interested until the end.
Sometimes it's hard to have a friend who finds humor at other's expense. Kids who think practical jokes are funny will understand the message and take it to heart without the story seeming preachy or moralistic. The friendship between the two creatures is just endearing enough that I hope there are more Winston And George books to come.
A good length for bedtime reading, with an great read aloud quality, this is a book I would recommend for the keeper shelf.