Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Mr. George Baker

Mr. George Baker

Fall 2004 Picture Books
Ages: 5 - 8 yrs.
Author: Amy Hest
Illustrator: Jon J Muth
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 0-7636-1233-2
Hardcover Price: $16.99
In this quiet first-person account, a young boy and an elderly man wait (and wait) on a front stoop for what turns out to be a school bus. Both Harry and one-hundred-year-old Mr. Baker are on their way to school to polish up their reading skills. The muted tones of the watercolor illustrations comfortably accompany reflective nature of the tale. Although there is not much of a storyline here--a close-up of Mr. Baker’s “crookedy fingers” leads to a brief flashback of his past as a jazz-band drummer; the two companions share the little chocolate candies in “twisty silver wrappers” that Mr. Baker always keeps in his pocket—there is a clear sense of the warmth and mutual admiration these two unlikely friends share.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2004 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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