George is a dog who wants to be good. He wants to please his owner and friend Harris, while he’s left at home. But, even though he tries really hard to be good, there are just too many temptations thrown in his way, like cake (now, really, who can resist cake?), cats, and soil to dig in.
But George gets the opportunity to mend his ways when Harris takes him out for a walk (after clearing up the huge mess that George had made) and he manages to stay strong and turn away from cake, cats and soil.
There is one last temptation, though… a rubbish bin, full of exciting and mysterious smells. What will George do?
What we thought of Oh No, George!
This is a brilliant book. The girls loved it and especially enjoy shouting “Oh no, George!” whenever George gives in to temptation. And they like wondering and talking about whether or not George goes for the rubbish bin. Anyone with a dog will know how they are very aware when they’ve done something wrong, but sometimes they just can’t help themselves. Wesley did actually eat a whole cake once. And he’s quite often polished off a batch of muffins. He knows he shouldn’t, but it just smells so good.
And even if you don’t have a dog, this scenario might well be familiar to parents of small children. Though, really, nobody can resist cake – not even big bad adults.
Chris Haughton’s artwork is wonderful, too. Simple, not quite iconic, blocks of shape with bright colours – George’s oranges and purples sit next to Harris’s greens and blues, blending in but also contrasting. Even the endpapers include fantastic artwork – depicting the house before and after George’s escapades. (By the way, if you like the artwork, come back on Sunday 25 March for a very special Oh No, George! giveaway.)
An interview with Chris Haughton
I was going to ask you the age-old and unimaginative ‘Where do you get your ideas?’, but your making of blog post tells this really well, so I’ll have to come up with something different.
I really like the colour scheme of the book – the juxtaposition of George’s pinks and oranges and Harris’s blues and greens works really well. How did you come up with the colour scheme?
CH: It’s really just trial and error. I start out with bold colours and just keep shifting them around until I am happy with them. The background image was chosen early on as bright orange and everything else was chosen to somehow fit to that. The advantage of using the computer is that colours can be changed quite easily although that leads to endless tweaking.
The story fits very well for children who, like George, quite often plan to be very good but don’t quite manage it. Was this intentional, or did it just work out that way?
CH: Yes, I was looking for a story that everyone can relate to. Whether you are an adult, a child or even a dog you can understand George’s predicament. What makes it funny is if you can see yourself in the character. It definitely helps that what George enjoys doing is similar to what children enjoy. I did try different temptations with mixed success, the urge to eat cake and run around the house after a cat seem more compelling and funnier to us than the urge to chew the leg of a table. Having said that maybe that’s something that would resonate with some kids too!
From your making of blog post , I see that you do a lot of sketching and also use the computer. Do you do a lot of the work on the computer or just touch up on the computer at the end?
CH: I find myself using the computer more and more simply because it’s just so useful and flexible. I would say about 70% of the time I spend on the computer
And, if I’m allowed one more question, which part of the book creation process do you enjoy most?
CH: I actually enjoy coming up with the stories most now. It is exciting because you really don’t know what way it will go. It is like solving a puzzle that goes on for months and months. Once it’s cracked the rest of it is quite predictable and just requires putting in the time on the illustrations and character design.
Trailer of Oh No, George!
Walker Books have kindly offered us a signed copy of the book to give away to one lucky reader. For your chance to win, please leave a comment below telling us about someone losing their fight with temptation – your dog, your toddler, or maybe you? I will draw the winner on Sunday 25 March, when we will also be giving you the opportunity to win an even bigger Oh No, George! prize.
Don’t go away!
I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit. If you’re a new reader stopping by on Chris Haughton’s blog tour, please consider coming back or even subscribing. If you don’t want parenting and cooking posts, then you can subscribe to the books-only feed. Or have a browse of all the posts tagged with “children’s books”.
The rest of the tour
Now you can go and visit everyone else on this global tour:
13 March, US, Not Just for Kids
14 March, UK, Playing by the Book
15 March, AUS, Christ Church Kids
19 March, US, There’s a Book
20 March, AUS, My Little Bookcase
21 March, US, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
22 March, UK, Being a Mummy
23 March, AUS, The Book Chook