Friday, June 7, 2019

Review - George the Hero Hound

George the Hero Hound
by Jeffrey Ebbeler
Date: 2018
Publisher: Two Lions
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 35
Format: e-book

George is a good ol’ hound dog. He helps Farmer Fritz with the chores and—most important of all—he keeps those sneaky cows out of the cornfield.

Then Farmer Fritz moves away, and a new family from the city moves in. The Gladstones have a lot to learn. George tries to help, but they don’t understand his job on the farm…until the day little Olive goes missing, and George shows everyone what it means to be a hero hound!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I don't know if I really like this one. The pictures are great, but the story itself is uneven and inexplicable in places.

George is a farm dog. One day, the farmer decides to retire to a beach cabana (as farmers generally do, right?) and he can't take George with him. So the new owners of the farm, a couple of city-slickers with two kids, inherit the dog.

The first issue is that the farmer never even bothered to tell the new owners the dog's name! That's so there would be a plot, but I find that highly unrealistic.

The second issue I have is with Olive, the youngest child of the family. She's apparently old enough to throw a tea party for chickens, but she's only saying her first word? I know some kids have a speech delay, but the rest of her behaviour suggests she's a normal preschooler. So that doesn't make much sense.

The wily cows and their antics are funny, but they're kind of overshadowed by the book's other issues. I was so distracted wondering how a dog comes up with a business plan (and yet can't figure out a way to tell his new owners his name) that I couldn't really enjoy the sillier aspects of what was going on in the background of the illustrations.

I'd hoped to see more of George's heroics, but other than a few unrealistic incidents, there really wasn't much to that part of the story. It's mostly about his name... and we're never sure if his new family ever learns it (or if he has to go by Rusty Dusty Rover Red for the rest of his life).

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.83 out of 5

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