|Image from HaperCollinsChildrens.com|
“Bark, George,” says George’s mother. Unfortunately, George makes everyone sound but a proper doggy “Arf.” He meows, moos, and oinks, but he just can’t seem to bark. So his mother takes him to the vet. When George meows instead of barking, the vet reaches inside George’s mouth and pulls out a live cat! Finally, after pulling out a duck, a pig, and a cow, George is able to bark. Walking home, his mother proudly says, “Bark, George.” George says: “Hello.”
The text is concise and full of dialogue, which makes this a quick and fun read aloud book. Kids will enjoy the funny ending and the repeated refrain, “Bark, George.” And although it may seem gross that George has animals living inside his stomach, most kids will find this element hilarious rather than off-putting. The illustrations use loose line work and bright backgrounds to create exaggerated and expressive characters.
You can also tell the story with props. Hide stuffed or paper cut outs of animals behind a stuffed dog. You may need to have a table with a long tablecloth to hide the animals. Then as the vet pulls each animal out of George’s stomach you can do the same with your hidden animals.
If you’re reading this book with just a few kids, let them take turns being the vet. Make the noise of the animal inside George and have them name the right animal or pick out the right stuffed or paper animal.
If you’re reading with a larger group you can extend the book by asking them what kind of animal George would have swallowed if he said “Neigh” or “Cock-a-doodle-doo!”
Pair this book with rhymes about dogs, such as Dog Says BowWow and Teach My Puppy. The Mommy and Me Book Club Blog has a great version of the Wheels on the Bus called The Animals Inside George.
If you like Jules Feiffer, check out my post on I’m NotBobby!