Bark, George

Bark, George

by Jules Feiffer

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062051851
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/03/1999
Series: Michael Di Capua Books Series
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 67,839
Product dimensions: 11.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)
Lexile: AD130L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Jules Feiffer has won a number of prizes for his cartoons, plays, and screenplays, including the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. His books for children include The Man in the Ceiling, A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears, I Lost My Bear, Bark, George, and Meanwhile... He lives in New York City. In His Own Words...

"I have been writing and drawing comic strips all illy life, first as a six-year-old, when I'd try to draw like my heroes: Alex Raymond, who did Flash Gordon, E. C. Segar, who did Popeye, Milton Caniff, who did Terry and the Pirates. The newspaper strip back in the I 1940s was a glorious thing to behold. Sunday pages were full-sized and Colored broadsheets that created a universe that could swallow a boy whole.

"I was desperate to be a cartoonist. One of my heroes was Will Eisner, who did a weekly comic book supplement to the Sunday comics. One day I walked into his office and showed him my samples. He said they were lousy, but lie hired me anyway. And I began my apprenticeship.

"Later I was drafted Out of Eisner's office into tile Korean War. Militarism, regimentation, and mindless authority combined to squeeze the boy cartoonist Out Of me and bring out the rebel. There was no format at the time to fit [he work I raged and screamed to do, so I had to invent one. Cartoon satire that commented on the Lin military the Bomb, the Cold War, the hypocrisy of grownLIPS, the mating habits of urban Young men and women, these were my subjects. After four years of trying to break into print and getting nowhere, the Village Voice, the first alternative newspaper, offered to publish me. Only one catch: They couldn't Pay me. What (lid I care?

"My weekly satirical strip, Sick Sick Sick, later renamed Feiffer started appearing in late 1956. Two years later, Sick Sick Sick came out in book form and became a bestseller. The following years saw a string of cartoon collections, syndication, stage and screen adaptations of the cartoon. One, Munro, won an Academy Award.

"This was heady stuff, taking me miles beyond my boyhood dreams. The only thing that got in the way of my enjoying it was the real world. The Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights revolution. The country was coining unglued and my weekly cartoons didn't seem to be an adequate way of handling it. So I started writing plays: Little Murders, The White House Murder Case, Carnal Knowledge, Grownups. All the themes of my comic strips expanded theatrically and later, cinematically to give me the time and space I needed to explain the times to myself and to my audience.

"I grew older. I had a family, and late in life, a very young family. I started thinking, as old guys will, about what I wanted these children to read, to learn. I read them E.B. White and Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl, and, one day, I thought, I ley, I can do this."

"Writing for young readers connects me profess sionally to) a part of myself that I didn't know how to let out until I was sixty: that kid who lived a life of innocence, mixed with confusion and consternation, disappointment and dopey humor. And who drew comic strips and needed friends—and found them—in cartoons and children's books that told him what the grown-ups in his life had left out. That's what reading (lid for me when I was a kid. Now, I try to return the favor."



Jules Feiffer has won a number of prizes for his cartoons, plays, and screenplays, including the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. His books for children include The Man in the Ceiling, A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears, I Lost My Bear, Bark, George, and Meanwhile... He lives in New York City. In His Own Words...

"I have been writing and drawing comic strips all illy life, first as a six-year-old, when I'd try to draw like my heroes: Alex Raymond, who did Flash Gordon, E. C. Segar, who did Popeye, Milton Caniff, who did Terry and the Pirates. The newspaper strip back in the I 1940s was a glorious thing to behold. Sunday pages were full-sized and Colored broadsheets that created a universe that could swallow a boy whole.

"I was desperate to be a cartoonist. One of my heroes was Will Eisner, who did a weekly comic book supplement to the Sunday comics. One day I walked into his office and showed him my samples. He said they were lousy, but lie hired me anyway. And I began my apprenticeship.

"Later I was drafted Out of Eisner's office into tile Korean War. Militarism, regimentation, and mindless authority combined to squeeze the boy cartoonist Out Of me and bring out the rebel. There was no format at the time to fit [he work I raged and screamed to do, so I had to invent one. Cartoon satire that commented on the Lin military the Bomb, the Cold War, the hypocrisy of grownLIPS, the mating habits of urban Young men and women, these were my subjects. After four years of trying to break into print and getting nowhere, the Village Voice, the first alternative newspaper, offered to publish me. Only one catch: They couldn't Pay me. What (lid I care?

"My weekly satirical strip, Sick Sick Sick, later renamed Feiffer started appearing in late 1956. Two years later, Sick Sick Sick came out in book form and became a bestseller. The following years saw a string of cartoon collections, syndication, stage and screen adaptations of the cartoon. One, Munro, won an Academy Award.

"This was heady stuff, taking me miles beyond my boyhood dreams. The only thing that got in the way of my enjoying it was the real world. The Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights revolution. The country was coining unglued and my weekly cartoons didn't seem to be an adequate way of handling it. So I started writing plays: Little Murders, The White House Murder Case, Carnal Knowledge, Grownups. All the themes of my comic strips expanded theatrically and later, cinematically to give me the time and space I needed to explain the times to myself and to my audience.

"I grew older. I had a family, and late in life, a very young family. I started thinking, as old guys will, about what I wanted these children to read, to learn. I read them E.B. White and Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl, and, one day, I thought, I ley, I can do this."

"Writing for young readers connects me profess sionally to) a part of myself that I didn't know how to let out until I was sixty: that kid who lived a life of innocence, mixed with confusion and consternation, disappointment and dopey humor. And who drew comic strips and needed friends—and found them—in cartoons and children's books that told him what the grown-ups in his life had left out. That's what reading (lid for me when I was a kid. Now, I try to return the favor."

Hometown:

New York, New York

Date of Birth:

January 26, 1929

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Education:

The Pratt Institute, 1951

Interviews

An Interview with Jules Feiffer

Barnes & Noble.com: After achieving success as a political cartoonist, playwright, screenwriter, and novelist, what compelled you to write your first children's book?

Jules Feiffer: I have three generations of kids (well, at that time, only two)...but I think having another child late in life -- I was over 50 -- makes you pay attention in a way you don't when you're younger. My kids and I did a lot of reading together and there were a lot of books I liked, as well as a lot of books I didn't think so much of, and somewhere along the line I began to think, Well I can do this! -- and I did.

B&N.com: How do you come up with stories that you think will appeal to kids?

JF: I have a number of different careers, and in all of them, I never think of anything specific like that at the start. I first think of what will be entertaining and interesting to me as a reader, or as a member of an audience, and then I think in terms of some general idea of age group, and then I splash around in my head for ideas. In fact, my new book, Bark, George, happened because when my youngest daughter -- she's almost five now -- was about a year and a half or two years old, I was telling her a bedtime story, and basically the text of the book is that bedtime story with very few changes.

B&N.com: I was going to ask you if you've always been a storyteller, even before you were a writer. I guess so!

JF: Well I am, but this is the first time I've told a bedtime story that I could get published. I've been hoping for lightning to strike ever since! I must have told my daughter 500 stories since then, and not one of them has had the same results.

B&N.com: When you were a child, did you always know you'd be an artist of some sort?

JF: Well, I wanted to be a cartoonist from the time I was five.

B&N.com:In The Man in the Ceiling, Jimmy's parents weren't very supportive of his cartooning talents. Is that something you're familiar with?

JF: Actually, my mother, who was a fashion designer -- as the mother is in The Man in the Ceiling -- was very supportive of me. The parents in the book weren't really my parents. There were similarities, of course, but they weren't the same. However, the sisters are very much my sisters. And Jimmy was very much based on me. But nothing in the book ever really happened.

B&N.com: Do you have any advice to give to kids who say they want to be authors?

JF: They should read a lot and write a lot -- and have fun doing it! But they should be readers. And they should just keep writing, and if it doesn't work out, keep doing it again and again and again -- for the fun of it and for learning how to do it.

B&N.com: Bark, George seems to be the simplest of any of the children's books you've done. Was this intentional?

JF: Well, they do seem to get simpler. The first two (The Man in the Ceiling and A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears) were for middle-grade readers and were far more complicated. And then, for some reason or another that I don't understand, I started on this group of younger books. The next book I have coming out is somewhere in between -- somewhere to the left of Bark, George and to the right of The Man in the Ceiling. I can't talk about it right now, but it's written, and it's been a lot of fun.

B&N.com: Then you intend to keep on writing children's books?

JF:Oh, yes -- it's more fun than anything else I do now. I wrote plays for a number of years, and when I gave that up I needed some new passion...or two...to obsess over, and this has been terrific. And the feedback has been wonderful -- which is what one can always hope for. The response of kids, the response of libraries and bookstores, has just been phenomenal. I'm delighted!

B&N.com: Well, I'm delighted that you took the time to speak with me. Thanks so much! And thanks for giving your young readers Bark, George -- and for continuing to create all kinds of great kids' books! (Jamie Levine)

Customer Reviews

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Bark, George 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The illustrations are large and priceless. I have read this book to countless numbers of young children in library, home, and classrooms. Never once has it failed to produce laughter and the cry 'read it again'!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for the first time this past summer when I read it to a group of preschoolers during story-time at the library. The kids had a blast with the book.
allawishus on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is a good storytime book because of the large-format, simple illustrations and the opportunities available to do funny sound effects and different voices. Even though this is one of those "highly recommended" picture books, it's not one that grabbed me as being exceptional or especially interesting. I also didn't love the illustrations. which seemed messy and uninspired. Perhaps I'm being unfair to the book - the person-swallows-fly-and-other-assorted -oddities picture book trope is not one that I like very much!
tnelson725 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This fun picture book portrays George, the puppy who meows, moos, quacks, oinks, but won't bark. George's mom gets so frustrated that she takes him to the vet, who pulls out a pig, cow, duck, and a cat. While walking home, George's mom tells him to bark for the people passing by and he says, "Hello."Children will enjoy the colorful pictures and the humorous, off-the-wall storyline. Kids will especially enjoy the vet "pulling" the other animals out of George.A fun project for the students would be to have a copy of the cover, have them color it and then cut a circle out on his belly. Next, I would tape a small ziplock bag to the back of the paper and the kids could then cut out a small copy of the animals that were found in George in the story. The kids could retell the story and pull out the animals along with the story.
conuly on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is a cute book about a dog, George, who won't bark. He moos, he quacks, he meows - he doesn't bark! (Sometimes when reading this book I go "Why can't his mom just let it drop? Who cares what he does!", but I'm reading too much into it then, and it's worth it to ignore this just to get to the punch line!) So he goes to the vet and... oh, I can't spoil the punchline. Let's just say your average four year old will die laughing. Now, a special note to those people who think "go" can't ever mean "say":You're ignorant, and I will enlighten you. Go to your bookcase and pull off your dictionary. I assume you do HAVE a dictionary. I have several... though alas, they're all out of date, forcing me to use Merriam-Webster online. Now, open the dictionary to the entry for the word "go". If you don't want to bother pulling the book off your shelf, here's the link: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goKeep reading, keep reading - wow, the word "go" has a lot of associated meanings, doesn't it! This is because of metonymy, of course - keep reading, turn the page, we're now at the transitive uses. Aha! Go, as a transitive verb, sense 7a (to cause a characteristic sound to occur) and 7b (to say).You might not like it, but I don't like people saying "awful" to mean anything other than "full of awe" or "artificial" to mean anything other "made with artistic skill", or "amusing" to mean anything other than "astonishing". This is how Shakespeare spoke, and it's good enough for me! Why isn't it good enough for you?(Aw, I'm being facetious. Language changes, guys! Get used to it. If your kid can't understand "go" to mean "say", they're going to be left out of a LOT of conversations!)
MontglaneChess on LibraryThing 8 months ago
George can make lots of animal sounds, except the one he is supposed to--will he ever be cured? Award-winning author Jules Feiffer draws children into this comical plot starring George, the puppy who can't bark, and walks them through his visit to the veterinarian. The blank, monotone-colored backgrounds compliment the minimalist caricature-like illustrations that transcend the setting. A mild theme of non-conformity and uniqueness runs through the story-line while the repetitive yet crazy discoveries found inside of George delights children and allows them to find a comforting rhythm in the storytelling. The repetitive dialogue flows naturally and contains word choice that introduces new, easily remembered vocabulary. The characters and the plot stand out as the main attractions in this sure-to-be-popular book. While the illustrations only make a brief nod to cultural diversity, the fact that the main characters in the story are animals balance out this discrepancy. Five stars for excellent readability and engaging dialogue.
acwheeler on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is a very funny story of a dog who cannot bark like a dog. Everytime he tries to bark a different animal noise comes out of him. To find out, he has all differnet animals inside of him that the doctor pulls out! Then finally at the end George can bark! Cute book! very funny!
HopeMiller123 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This book is about a mother and son dog. The mother is trying to get her dog to bark, but the dog meow, oinks, and moos like any other anmial except a dog. The mother has to take her son to the vet and he pulls out a cat, pig, and cow from the dog's thraot and after that he finally barks. This is a cute story that has a slight sense of humor that I think will make kids laugh.
ktinney2315937 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This book tells of a little dog named George. George's mother was trying to get George to bark, but the first time she asked him to he went meow, then quack-quack, then oink, then moo. George's mother couldn't find out why he wouldn't bark so she took him to the vet. The vet told him to bark, he didn't bark he went meow. the vet reached in George's mouth and pulled out a cat. The vet told him to bark again and he went quack-quack and the vet pulled out a duck then a pig, then a cow.
emleonard on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This book could be a beginners book to help children read. It could also help children understand the sounds each animal makes.
jeriannthacker on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Hilarious story about poor George, who has lost his bark and replaced it with all sorts of animal sounds. Excellent for story times, preschool and schoolage.
bplma on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Something's wrong with George. He can't bark! Instead he meows and quacks and oinks. A quick trip to the doctor will reveal the reason but not the funny and surprising ending. Spare and simple enough for the youngest children, the clever twist in the plot will delight children of all ages. A tried and true hit for storytime and read-a-louds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't had an opportunity to see it for myself. I ordered it for our 18 month old granddaughter. Her parents have told me she loves it and that she loves to bark while they read her the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter loves this book - kept taking out of the library so much I had to purchase it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought my own copy of this book after my granddaughter, age 6, checked it out at the library for the fourth time! She just loves the dogs antics in this book. It is a wonderful read. Add your own animal sounds for a laughing good time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My teacher read this to me in kindergarten and I've not been able to forget this book! I love this books sooo much! It's a great book for little kids and a great memory book for those who remember it(:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Da_Fish More than 1 year ago
As one who remembers Jules Feiffer's editorial cartoons from the newspaper & magazines, I was pleasantly surprised by his books for children. This was one of many selections requested by my church's children's library. Kind of cute for an adult; I suppose a child would find it much funnier.
Debbie-W More than 1 year ago
My two-year old grandson absolutely loves this book. It is so simple that after only a couple readings, he can fill in the animal sounds. very humorous.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Children love to laugh. This book will make them do just that and warm their hearts along the way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never got delivered for birthday gift...was returned w/out notice.