Oh No, George! By Chris Haughton, published by Walker Books
We think this may have been the first book that made us, and our toddler, laugh out loud at the same time. Chris Haughton's unmistakable, bold and brilliant illustrations are combined with perfectly timed dead-pan humour and superb character expression in Oh No, George!, the tale of a dog trying so very hard to make amends for instinctive and opportunistic mischief.
After coming home to find that George has been digging soil and eating cake, his superbly-named owner Harris is placated by the offer of George's favourite toy. They set off for a walk, which proves to be filled with temptations. George refrains from more trouble and stays on his best behaviour:
"George doesn't even try to chase Cat. Even Cat is a bit surprised". The look on Cat's face, of simultaneous relief and disappointment, is one of the best expressions I've come across in picture books to date. Can George resist a final Siren-like pull, presented by his favourite thing in life, a bin full of rubbish?
With intermittent opportunities to say "Oh No, George!", this has become a frequent bedtime treat.
With thanks to Chris Haughton for permission to use his book's cover image with this review.
Feedback from the author
From @chrishaughton: @Books4MyToddler your toddler has very good taste in books! lots of my favourites there! :)