All-time Best George and Martha Story – Nominee #3

martha.jpg

Uh-oh, Martha’s getting itchy…

From George and Martha Rise and Shine we have “The Experiment.”

First and foremost, a funny story. As usual told with incredible economy of words, lines and colors.

More subtly, we have a fine portrait of the way friends behave. Here we have the moment when one friend starts their own thing and gets all bigheaded about it. Then they tumble back to earth. I probably would have laughed, but George is such a wonderful fellow. He just helps. (or possibly enables, since Martha then plans to try something even crazier.)

By making such lean and spare stories, Marshall gives us a chance to color these stories with our own experiences and understanding. Yet, they still teach us to be kinder, better people.

Helping friends gracefully recover from bad decisions is a wonderful theme in Marshall’s work. It’s seen in other G&M stories, plus the longer masterpiece “Yummers.” Just the other day I was thinking of one of my great High School Failures as a Human Being. It would have been so different if I could have been a little more George-like.

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2 Responses

  1. By the way, are you familiar with Dinner at Alberta’s, written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by James Marshall? While the story is written by another author, it’s a perfect match for James Marshall’s humor.

    My favorite George and Martha stories are still “The Diary” and “The Secret Club.”

    Are you going to share your great High School failure, or are we going to have to imagine it (by filling in visions of our own high school failures and cringing over and over and over…)?

  2. Oooh, I love George and Martha! I’m with Alkelda. I think my favorite is “The Secret Club.”

    When I read these to my children, our discussion is as long as the book. I love it!

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