Picture Book – Bark, George

What makes a good read-aloud book? The answers could be argued for hours, but I suspect that some almost all of the agreed-upon elements would be found in this little gem. Bark, George by Jules Feiffer is simply a classic read-aloud book. The sentences are short, allowing one to make the most of an emphatic delivery. Animal noises not only abound but are integral to the story, allowing for ample opportunity for audience participation, both in making animals noises themselves and in shouting out the animal that makes that particular sound. The simple, uncluttered illustrations are very funny, the expressions on George’s mother’s face never fails to get a laugh from story time audiences.

In a nutshell, George is a small dog. When his mother asks him to bark, he responds “Quack” or “Moo” or other inappropriate sounds. Taken to the vet, the solution to the problem quickly becomes hilariously apparent. The last line in the book is quite clever, and while it tends to go over very young children’s heads, the preschoolers in the room will certainly “get it” and find it extra funny. A definite recommendation to anyone searching for a good book to read aloud, whether to a large group or just one-on-one.


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