George Goes to Camp: C.S. McDonald / Illustrated by Vickie Froelich
Being unique and different is what makes each of us so special. Imagine walking out in the morning and seeing yourself coming and going. By that I mean everyone is dressed like you and looks like you. What would you do if everyone had the same face, hair color, body and clothes? How would we tell anyone apart? How would we embrace who they are and how would they embrace that you are? Differences are what make you stand out and being different is great. But, George is a horse who disagrees and although he loves to be in the pasture and eat green grass he does not like poor Maxine. You see Maxine is a cow and she according to him looks funny and different. George, the horse does not like different.
Riley comes to Pop-pop’s farm to give George his bath, dry him off and even put a bow on his tail. But, when Riley places him in a strange place and tells him that he’s going with her to camp poor George is alarmed. George is about to attend pony camp along with Riley but first he is going to meet someone else. In the stall next to him is this adorable red horse with a golden-yellow mane and his name is Otis. George looks at him and cannot decide whether he likes Otis or not!
Otis is not a pony. Otis is a donkey and of course he was different. George did not like him because he is not like him. Pony camp would teach him many different lessons as author C.S. McDonald brings to light what happens when kids or in this case ponies too make new friends, bob for apples and even have to enter a costume contest. Imagine George having to wear a costume because Riley says so. Poor George is about to learn the true meaning of understanding, friendship, tolerance, and kindness and of course DIFFERENT!
All of the children had to decide what to wear and Riley came dressed as a fairy princess holding a costume for George. Well I am sure all you kids out there guessed what poor George was going as! You got it! None other than George in his own ballerina costume while the others were dressed as super heroes poor George. George for the first time realize that he was not the same but different.
George is not happy and wants out! He does not like looking different. But, Otis is a good friend and you won’t believe what he tells him. But, since mysteries have to be solved you will have to find out what he tells George when you read this great book filled with colorful pictures that are quite expressive and add to the story. Listen as Otis tells George why it’s great to be different and how it helps you, me and everyone stand out from the rest. Check out Sparky with his white and black dots. Check out Thunder with black and white spots.
The contest was exciting and everyone gathered round as the judges checked out all of the contestants and their animals and had to decide the winner. What does George do that just might surprise everyone? What happens when he walks out in his ballerina costume with Riley riding him? Will George understand that being different is not so bad? Otis is a great friend and will he and George have other adventures together at pony camp? What will happen when he is home? Will he be nice to Maxine? Being different! What makes you stand out above the rest? Think about it the next time you meet someone of a different background, shorter than you, taller than you, different race or from a different country and remember: Different is great and that’s how we learn about other people, places, customs and just how important it is to realize we are different on the outside but the same on the inside.
One great pony. One great story. Let’s hope the author and illustrator will bring back George and his friends real soon.
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews/MJ magazine: Being Different is what makes you YOU!