________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 8 . . . . December 9, 2005

cover

George Most Wanted. (Orca Echoes).

Ingrid Lee. Illustrated by Stéphane Denis.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2005.
62 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 1-55143-472-5.

Subject Heading:
Toys-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Saache Heinrich.

*** /4

excerpt:

George Lands on a Blackberry

George fell through blackberry space.

He was out of control! He chipped the point off a star. He sliced the tail off a comet. He diced some moonbeams.

Chop, chop! Bits of the night flew everywhere.

George tried to steer the rocket, but he had no hands. How could he steer the rocket without his big strong hands?

He stepped on the brakes, but he had no shoes. How could he stop the rocket without his shiny red shoes?

George looked down. His jumpsuit was gone. His body was gone. And so was his rocket. All he saw was a big dark planet. He was going to crash!

George kept his head. He was not going to smack his face. He would land lightly!

George shook all the heavy thoughts out of his head. He forgot about elephants and bowling balls. He forgot about schoolbags. He filled his thoughts with clouds and cotton candy.

Ploomph!

George fell into a purple pillow. It tasted sweet – as sweet as blackberry juice.

Mmmm! George sank into the purple pillow. He would have a blackberry soda. He would have a nap. Then he would find his missing parts.

He was George the Brave, George the Steadfast. He still had his big blue eyes and his long straight nose. He still had the waves in his hair.

He had a good head start!

We first meet George in The True Story of George and learn that he is a little plastic figurine with pink skin and black hair and that he wears a red jumpsuit and shiny red shoes. George Most Wanted continues where his previous adventure ends … with George launched into space, tied to a dragon rocket. Inevitably the rocket explodes, sending body parts in all directions. His owners, Katie and Mackenzie, recover only the left leg and a shoe. With the rest of George scattered around, this short chapter book chronicles how George’s head is eventually reunited with his two arms, right leg, torso and finally, back to Katie and Mackenzie where he acquires a groovy motorbike and meets a beautiful doll with turquoise hair.

internal art

     Stéphane Denis’ pencilled illustrations are fun and nicely correlate to the text. The cover illustration will help to attract young readers … a hard-hatted and goggled George happily sits on top of a groovy three-wheeler motorcycle. The cover illustration and title might suggest to readers that the story is about a criminal on the run; however, Lee supplies us with “Before the Story Begins” which introduces us to George, his owners Katie and Mackenzie and the predicament in which we find him. This background helps the reader to clarify that it is George’s missing body parts that are most wanted, thereby setting any misconceptions straight.

     The story contains some delightful puns that will elicit laughs if young readers are savvy enough to understand - separated from his rest of his body, George “kept his head” and has a “good head start.” Lee keeps the chapters short (between one and two pages) which are very manageable for anyone learning to read and feeling overwhelmed by longer chapters. The chapter titles are clever and fun … “George gets in a jam” is almost literal as George’s head lands on a blackberry, is picked and then frozen along with the rest of the blackberries.

     The final chapter promises us another next installment in George’s adventures as he sets off on his motorbike to follow his destiny (a beautiful doll with turquoise hair). This is a fun little chapter book that will delight young readers.

Recommended.

Saache Heinrich is a children’s services librarian for the Saskatoon Public Library in Saskatoon, SK.

 

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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