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Bark, George
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" The images are striking, with no background details or props but the unobtrusive text. In the initial spreads, a big dog and a little one face each other from opposite sides of the book: "George's mother said: 'Bark, George.' George went: 'Meow.' " As George proceeds to quack, oink and moo, his dismayed mother grimaces and puts her paw on her head in the classic gimme-a-break gesture. She takes her afflicted son to a veterinarian, who snaps on a rubber glove and decisively repeats the title command. This time, when the pup meows, "The vet reached deep down inside of George... And pulled out a cat." Feiffer reverses the old-lady-who-swallowed-a-fly plot and boosts the giddiness with every barnyard animal removed from tiny George. The pen-and-ink close-ups of the dogs and vet are studies in minimalism and eloquence, and the characters' body language registers intense effort and amazement. Rather than being black-on-white, the illustrations get a boost from cool pastel hues. This pairing of an ageless joke with a crisp contemporary look will initiate many an animated game of animal sounds. Ages 2-6. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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PreS-Gr 2 What's to be done? When George's mother tells him to bark, the puppy meows then quacks, oinks, and finally moos! Like any good mother, the canine marches her son to the vet, who sets right to work. Reaching deep down George's throat, the vet pulls out a cat! But this does not solve the problem, and the doc continues his hilarious extractions. Deep inside his patient, he finds a duck, a pig, and even a cow. At last, when all are removed, George utters an "arf." Young readers will roar with laughter at this slapstick farce with simple line drawings, set against pastel backgrounds, which convey a full range of emotions. But the loudest laughs will come from the readers who share their lives with dogs. When the pup leaves the vet and joins the crowds of people on the street, his mother proudly tells him to bark. George's answer? "Hello!" No surprise to any dog owner who knows what's really deep inside that furry body. Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

PreS-Gr 2-A lovable pup tries to bark, but all that comes out are other animals' sounds, until a cathartic trip to the vet unleashes the problem. A pack of fun, with droll illustrations and deadpan text. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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