What George Forgot: Kathy Wolff and Richard Byrne
June 01, 2017
Book: What George Forgot
Author: Kathy Wolff
Illustrator: Richard Byrne
Age Range: 3-6
What George Forgot is a very cute picture book, perfect for the pre-K-2 set. George is a young boy (my first grade daughter declares him without doubt to be a kindergartener) who is about to leave for school. The problem is that George is pretty sure he's forgotten something important. So he runs back in his mind through all of the things he's done that morning, from waking up to waking his family to eating breakfast to petting the dog. The first clue to what George has forgotten is revealed to young readers here:
"He'd gotten dressed in his favorite fuzzy sweater.
And put on his brand-new watch.
He'd even remembered clean undies.
What could George be forgetting?"
Astute young readers like my first grader will immediately notice that George neglects to put on pants over his clean undies (polka-dotted boxers). Younger listeners may take longer, but Kathy Wolff and Richard Byrne do give them other chances (particularly when George uses the bathroom). In the end, it's George's little sister and his dog who realize what he's forgotten and run after him to catch him as he gets on the school bus. Even though she knew what he had forgotten all along, my daughter still pealed with laughter at the book's conclusion.
As for me, I got a kick of the author's clear understanding of young children. Like this:
Had he remembered to:
Use the bathroom?
Wash his hands? Yes.
Oh, right. Yes.
Turn off the faucet?
Yes. (Just in time!)
This sequence, over three pages, is accompanies by vignettes. Any parent will smile over George first holding out his wet hands, and only displaying soap bubbles after being reminded. The nearly overflowing sink also reminded me of a recent near miss with the bathtub in my house.
Richard Byrne's illustrations add warmth and humor, with details about George's large, messy breakfast and an incident in which he uses toast crusts and yogurt to give his little sister whiskers. George is large-headed and messy-haired, with a generally cheerful smile. No parents are visible, adding to the book's kid-friendliness quotient.
What George Forgot has a perfect blend of realistic day-to-day detail and over-the-top, slapstick humor. Even though George does, well, forget his pants, he's otherwise quite competent and independent. This would be a great book to give to any kid as a first-day-of-school (especially preschool) gift. Highly recommended, and new favorite in my house.
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (@BloomsburyKids)
Publication Date: July 4, 2017
Source of Book: Advance review copy from the publisher
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