Bark, George by Jules Feiffer: A perfect picture book.

Bark, GeorgeDSC01778

Picture Book

Ages 2-6

By Jules Feiffer

32 pages

HarperCollins

1999

 

 

Bark, George is one of my favorite picture books ever. It’s funny, clever, simple and satisfying. In short, it’s perfect.

Jules Feiffer is an author (he’s written several books for children and adults), an artist (in addition to illustrating Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth, he also illustrates all of his own writing), a screenwriter (most notably, Robert Altman’s Popeye) and a cartoonist (he had his own strip in The Village Voice for forty-two years).

Feiffer’s simple line drawings are tight but also fluid.  There’s a perceived action in his precise style. Unwavering black lines contain lavish hues; the comically endearing characters are set against solid, pastel backgrounds. The no-frills text says only exactly what is necessary and moves quickly. It all comes together to produce a flawless and hilarious story.

 

George, a puppy, is instructed by his mother to bark but her commands are met with unexpected results.

‘“Bark, George.” George went: “Meow.”’

DSC01779

George’s mother calmly explains that cats meow and dogs bark. Once again, she directs George to bark. George quacks.

DSC01780

Following her various pleas for George to bark, he emits a new and different animal sound, but never a bark.

Clearly frustrated, George’s mother brings him to the vet. The vet’s appeals for George to bark are met with the same results.

“Please bark, George.” George went: “Meow.”’

DSC01781

So the vet dons a glove, reaches deep inside of George, and pulls out a cat.

DSC01782

Each request is met with a misplaced animal sound and each time the doctor reaches inside George and retrieves the relevant animal. There’s a cat, a duck, a pig, and a cow. Then finally, after George has been unburdened of all these creatures, he barks!

Both the vet and George’s mother are ecstatic.

DSC01783

George’s mother is so pleased that she decides to show off his newly learned skill on the way home.

“So she said, “Bark, George.” And George went:

DSC01786

Children find great humor in attributing incorrect characteristics to, well, most anything. For children who have mastered proper animal sounds there’s a seemingly endless amount of laughter to be achieved by mixing and matching their noises. Bark, George is the reverse of The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and a guaranteed “read it again.”

 

Buy the book!

IndieBound / Powell’s / Amazon

3 Responses so far

  1. 1

    This looks like an entertaining book. My son and I love reading together and are in need of some new books. I am not familiar with this author but will keep an eye out for his work now. Thanks!

  2. 2

    I love Jules Feiffer and I bet my granddaughter will find this story hilarious. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. 3

    This looks like a great book. Thanks to this review because I had never heard of it before but I will not go out and try to find it.


Comment RSS

Comments are closed.

I love kids books

Children's books. My kids, Max and Calvin. Random thoughts connected to books and my kids.

The Belugas are Watching

...as we write, draw, and blog.

Children's Books Heal

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. -- Margaret Mead

Pretty Books

Fiction, Young Adult and Children's Books & Reviews

Design of the Picture Book

the intersection of graphic design + picture books

David Gaughran

Let's Get Digital

BookPeople's Blog

Austin's largest independent bookstore since 1970 - 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

The Book Wars

💕📚💕

This Kid Reviews Books

A Place for Kids and Grown-Ups to Discover Books

Kid Lit Reviews

Honest, Thoughtful Reviews

Loren Long

children’s book illustrator and author

Creative Grove Artist & Designer Market

artist and community festivals in the public space held from 2009 - 2014

Delightful Children's Books

Find a book to delight a child.

Book Blogger Directory

The Big Blog of Book Blogs

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Sommer Reading

A Blog About Books

educating alice

monica edinger, teacher and reader of children's literature

Bobs Books Blog

Childrens and Young Adult Book Reviews by Bob Docherty

Random Acts of Reading

reviews, raves and a random assortment of book buzz

children's books for grown-ups

Natasha Worswick's blog

Watch. Connect. Read.

Children's Book Reviews

Book-A-Day Almanac

Children's Book Reviews

%d bloggers like this: