Book Review: George Knows
George Knows, by Mindy Mymudes, is a treat for children that adults can enjoy as well. This is not always the case with children’s books, but Mymudes has managed to get it right. Her self-confessed love of Basset Hounds makes her observations of the animals behavior a good guide for a story told from the perspective of a Basset Hound, in this case George.
George is a familiar for a family whose twelve year old daughter is a witch in training. It is Georges job to train her. His efforts are hampered by local events that take him and his family all on an adventure that will test Georges high opinion of himself, and help his “girlpup” Karly learn more of what it is to be a witch.
Mymudes creates a fun story with creative use of words for her protagonist/narrator George. “Girlpup”, “packmom”, “packdad”, and the use of “peeps” to describe people, is sure to delight children and get a chuckle out of mom and dad. Yet she does it in a way that does not clog up the story with words that are too unfamiliar and cause the reader to have to pause leaving the rhythm of the tale.
The human characters are well written and the explanations for usual dog behavior, seen through a dogs eyes, is imaginative. Take this scene, “I drink more of the sweet water and carry the last mouthful to Auntie Heather. I drop it on her feet to thank her for her thoughtfulness.
“You’re welcome, George.” She shakes her feet, one at a time.
The proper way to dry off.”
Or when he decides to pass gas and describes it like this, “The scent breezes around me. It’s delicate and earthy. I have graced them with one of my better ones.” Perhaps to a dog his gas is “delicate and earthy.”
We all like to ascribe motivations to our pets and Mymudes’ use of typical dog behavior makes the willing suspension of disbelief easy in this case, with Georges descriptions of his actions. Telling a tale from an animal’s perspective is a good way to get, and hold, a reader’s attention, especially children.
The actions of the children in the tale are also believable and familiar to anyone who has been around kids. Kids themselves will probably agree with the child characters reasoning wholeheartedly, making it easy for them to invest themselves in those characters and the story.
Having spent several years as a tutor and volunteer at an elementary school, I can attest that the quality of George Knows holds up. I recommend this to children, their parents, and school teachers looking for reading material in their classes. It is up for pre-order on museituppublishing.com for $5.50. The release date is Dec. 6th 2013.