Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton
George is a good dog; at least he tries to be good dog. Yet when Harry leaves George in the house alone, George finds himself easily tempted. Is that a cake on the table? Is that his friend, Cat? Is that some lovely dirt in the flower pot? What will George do?
Harry comes back home to see that George has indulged while he’s been away. Oh no, George! George is upset. We wanted so much to be good; he hoped that he’d be good, but he just wasn’t. What can Harry do with a dog that wants to be good, but can’t seem to help himself? This calls for a little forgiveness and nice walk outside. Yet outside, George is once again faced with so many temptations. What will George do with a second chance?
Anyone who has a dog at home will be able to relate to this endearing story of a dog that should know better, but is, after all, still a dog.
My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee
A boy has just bought himself a pet rhinoceros. That’s right, a rhinoceros. There were many other exotic pets in the shop (not to mention illegal, but let’s ignore that little fact for the sake of the story), but the boy chose the rhinoceros. At first the boy is impressed with the overall temperament of the animal, but he soon finds that his rhinoceros doesn’t do much of anything. It doesn’t fetch; it doesn’t roll over; nothing. He consults a rhinoceros expert who informs him that rhinoceroses can do only two things: pop balloons and poke holes in kites. However, this particular rhinoceros doesn’t even seem to be able to do these two species specific acts. Maybe the boy should have bought the hippopotamus instead. When the boy and his rhinoceros have an unlikely encounter with a couple of bandits fleeing by air, will the boy’s rhinoceros finally have a chance to prove its worth; and what other surprises does it have?
With just the right mix of humour, expressive illustration, and absurdity, Jon Agee has once again written a gem of a book that is as much fun to read as it is to hear.
Ernest by Catherine Rayner
Ernest is a rather large moose
In fact, Ernest is so large that he can’t fit inside the book. No matter how hard he tries to shimmy in forwards or squidge in backwards, Ernest, although determined, become disappointed that he cannot fit. However, this rather large moose has a little friend who might just have a solution.
This is a wonderful story of determination, cooperation, and thinking outside of the box, or in this case, book. Rayer’s use of scale in her illustrations is a perfect tool to help tell the story, and the ending utilizes the physical dimensions of the book to show how a story can go beyond the confines of its cover.