George is a gigantic, magenta dog with a purple snout and huge, expressive eyes. He wants to be good and knows the rules of proper behavior, but he can’t quite manage to follow them when left alone in the house.
The individual’s struggle for self-control is subtly conveyed in George’s story, which manages to make old concept fresh thanks to George’s winning personality and a vibrant, jazzy artistic style. Minimalist illustrations in a combination of pencil and digital media use geometric shapes and a striking palette of bold oranges, red and purples complemented by a contemporary typeface and a large trim. When George’s owner, Harry, leaves George at home, the big pooch eats the cake, chases the cat and digs up the plants in a flurry of misbehavior. George is filled with remorse, and with a teary apology, he offers his favorite toy to his owner in recompense. Later, on a walk with his owner, George is able to control himself and bypass similar temptations, but the open-ended conclusion shows George next to an overflowing trashcan, with a decision to make about his next move.
Young children who struggle to follow the rules will feel a bond with George, and the story’s present-tense narration and repeated refrains make this a natural for reading aloud. (Picture book. 3-6)