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Excerpt: 'Mr. George Baker'

by Amy Hest
Jun 13, 2005

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Amy Hest

In this tender picture-book tale recommended by Washington Post columnist John Kelly, first-grader Harry and Mr. George Baker, a 100-year-old jazz drummer, wait for the school bus together. These unlikely friends have something in common: They're both learning to read.

Excerpt: First Pages

See this man? This one here, sitting on the porch?

That's Mr. George Baker, and he's a hundred years old, no kidding.

"Hurry up, Harry! Mr. Harry-in-Charge." That's George, all snappy and happy in the morning. He always calls "Hurry up, Harry" when I'm crossing lawns — his and mine — and he's always there first, waiting on the porch.

See his pants, all baggy, baggy, baggy? What holds them up — suspenders! Brown baggy pants with two side pockets, and two in back. There's candy in those pockets. Little chocolate candies in twisty silver wrappers. George pops one in his mouth and I do too.

We wait on the porch and chew.

Copyright (c) 2004 by Amy Hest. Illustrated by Jon J. Muth. Excerpted with permission from the Candlewick Press.

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