Oh No, George! is Chris Haughton’s cautionary tale about making wise choices in the face of temptation. George is a lovable dog with an endearing personality who valiantly struggles with being good while left home alone.His huge expressive eyes clearly communicate his struggle with following the rules and his ultimately his remorse when the cake, the cat, and the dirt get the best of him.
The author uses page turns to build the suspense of George’s choices and readers will find themselves giggling with anticipation. Filled with humor that will appeal to young readers and adults alike, the story features spare, open-ended text with a fun repetition element making it a perfect choice for a read aloud book.
The minimalist illustrations feature geometric shapes and a bright palette of red, orange, and purple giving it a fresh, contemporary feel while teaching the age old lessons of good behavior, remorse, and forgiveness.
In this Issue
Inspired by the geometric shapes and the expressive eyes Chris Haughton used in the illustrations of Oh No, George!, this project uses a minimum of materials but has maximum appeal. Set out the supplies and invite your young reader to create a unique version of George.
Why We Like It
- It uses googly eyes! Yes we know they are only small bits of plastic but googly eyes are pure magic!
- It's a dog! Do you like dogs as much as we do? Check out our crafts and recipes to go with A Ball for Daisy, McDuff and the Baby, and The Stray Dog.
Oh No, George! Paper Tube Craft
What You Will Need
- Paper towel tube
- Purple paint
- Black paint
- Googly eyes
- Construction paper for ears
How To Do It
- Let your young readers artistic vision take the lead. We painted the paper towel tube then attached the googly eyes and ears cut from construction paper.
We don't feature too many decadent desserts here on Off the Shelf, and when we do they are usually reserved for a very special occasion or celebration. But we figured that it is time for another cake, if only to bring some bright color into the gray winter days.
The cake in Oh No, George! is bright purple with magenta frosting, so we looked for an healthier alternative to regular food coloring. We found the answer in this rainbow cake made with all natural food colorings. So, our simple vanilla cake is colored bluish-purple with blackberry juice, and the buttercream frosting is colored with beet juice. And rest assured, while the cake and frosting are colored with fruit and vegetable juices, they don't taste at all like blackberries or beets!
Young Readers in the Kitchen
Kids can help to measure and mix ingredients, strain the blackberry juice, and frost the cake.
Inspired by HWTM's Rainbow Cake.
- 3/4 cup frozen blackberries
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Place frozen blackberries in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 1 minute, until berries begin to burst. Strain and reserve juice.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, and vanilla extract.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter, oil and sugar on medium speed until fluffy.
- Add egg and mix until combined.
- With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the milk mixture. Repeat with another 1/3 of flour mixture, remaining 1/2 of milk mixture, and rest of flour mixture. Mix until combined.
- Stir in reserved blackberry juice. Make sure to scrape to the bottom of the bowl so that all of the batter is colored.
- Divide batter between the two cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center or one cake comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before running knife around edge and inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Level cakes if necessary. Frost top of one cake with half of the frosting (recipe below). Top with second cake layer and frost top with remaining frosting.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 tablespoons beet juice (from 1 small can of beets)
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat until smooth.
More Scrumptious Cakes
- Blueberry Buckle Cake
- Cocoa-Carrot Snack Cake
- Miss Spider's Banana Tea Cakes
- Mix-in-the-Pan Cake with Banana Chocolate Glaze
- N is for Navel Orange Snack Cake
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