Book Review: Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton

Chris Haughton knows the magic ingredients needed to create a winning picture book; one which appeals to adults as much as it does to children. He used them in A Bit Lost, and they appear again in Oh No, George!

Upon reading the first two pages of this book, I was already recalling one of my daughter’s favourite lines, “Yes mum, I promise I’ll be good at the shops today.” Chris has created a character who children can relate to. A character whose desire for joy and pleasure outstrip the need to be good, but who is also accustomed to instant remorse. My toddler can certainly relate to the main character, as can I, and most people on the planet probably. Oh No, George! really is an amusing read for anyone who has ever given into temptation, despite desperately wanting to be good.

And that, I believe, is Chris Haughton’s gift. He knows how to create entertaining picture books that make light of human nature. Oh No, George! is about a dog who would really love to please his owner, Harris. If only he weren’t faced with so many temptations.

Harris leaves George home alone. Once Harris leaves, George thinks to himself, ‘I hope I’ll be good’, and instantly the reader feels a protective affection for George, hoping too that he doesn’t get into any mischief.

Although promising to be good, temptation proves too strong for poor George. Do you blame him, being left alone in a house with a cake, a cat and a flower pot?

Chris Haughton is wonderful at building tension and creating effective page turners. Upon each temptation that George faces, the reader is asked, ‘What will George do?’ Then the page is turned to reveal the aftermath.

George does eat the whole cake, chase the cat around the house and dig at the soil; ruining the house in the process. The before and after endpapers will show you just how much damage George has caused. (I hope I haven’t give too much away. The story is called Oh No, George after all)

Intrinsic remorse sets in as soon as Harris arrives home. George really had wanted to be good. With a tear in his eye (as if we weren’t already smitten by George), George works out what he needs to do. Give Harris his favourite toy of course.

Harris accepts this apologetic gesture and takes George for a walk where he manages to walk past a cake, a cat and some lovely soil. BUT, can he resist the delicious smelling rubbish bin? You and your children will have to work that one out for yourselves.

Chris’s illustrations, again, are of bright, electric and appealing colours. The majority of the illustrations appear on a white background, which makes the orange pages effectively emotive. Already connected to George, when we see an orange page, we feel a sense of alarm or panic for him. The use of orange almost acts like the climatic music we would hear in a feature film.

It is at these orange pages that, as readers, we join in the story-telling with a sing song delivery of ‘Oh No, George!’

With two out of two, Chris Haughton is one author/illustrator you want to be looking out for in the future. Oh No, George! took Chris two years to complete. My Little Bookcase is hoping we don’t have to wait that long to read his next book. (You can read about the creation of Oh No, George! here)


Book Details:

By Chris Haughton

ISBN: 978-1406332254

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Walker Books, March 2012

RRP: $24.95 (aud)

Suitable for ages 2+

Book Review: Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton


  1. Oh my gosh! He sounds like my old beagle when he was a pup when it came to anything cooking on the grill or BBQ, he even has the same look in his eyes! I hate to admit it but he even sounds a little like me when it comes to chocolate…….

  2. Colour colour colour!! And a whole bunch of quirky ;)

  3. I just LOVE the book trailer…especially the end sounds! My boys cant wait to read this one!!

  4. With a new puppy at home, a golden retriever no less, who already has perfected the art of looking sorry when caught chewing on someone’s favourite (insert toy/shoe/drink bottle/fairy wand/photo/art work….), Oh No, George! sounds like a must read in our house if our three children are to continue finding our dog’s destructive ways funny.

  5. Oh No, George! is a brilliant picture book. The concept, ‘Oh No,’ is priceless, especially for young children that seem to have many ‘Oh No!’ moments – unintentionally. Spilt milk, lipstick on the face, paint on the carpet, overfeed the fish, the list goes on. George just had to be a dog and a loveable one at that. Who could resist his colourful charm, puppy dog eyes, and big heart? Love this book!

  6. Thuy said: On March 21, 2012

    I love the colour schemes and the hangdog look on George’s face as he confronts temptation. And of course, as the Wildean proverb goes, the best way to deal with temptation is to yield to it.

  7. Thanks all for entering. The lucky person to receive a copy of Oh no, George is Nichole. Congrats.

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