PictureBook Review: George Hogglesberry

Ever on the hunt for picture books about theatre, I discovered a dandy last week!

George Hogglesberry is an alien.  The book is not about terror of aliens, or riding in space crafts, it’s about finding your place in a new home.  And fitting in.  The first sentance of the book makes that clear: “Before George Hogglesberry went into his new class, he put a nose on his face.”

Poor George thinks no one likes him because his feet sometimes float away and he regularly turns into random objects like tomatoes and light fixtures when, in fact, everyone likes him very much.  When it’s time to create the school play, everyone is concerned about his ability to perform without turning into something else accidentally.

In the end, George creates his own role that suits him perfectly.  And, at the moment of performance when he feels a little nervous, it’s not another child that tells him what to say, or a teacher that gives him a pep-talk, it’s George taking a deep breath and being brave.  I particularly love this book for this simple message: only you can do it.

Most books about theatre for children hold messages of stage fright, missing out on the part you think you should have had, or impressing friends and family.  But the true spirit of theatre is about accepting the people around you, working together to tell a story in the best way you can, and having confidence in yourself.

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