GEORGE AND HIS SHADOW by Davide Cali and Serge Bloch

Here’s a quote from the back flap,
“Davide Cali and Serge Bloch have created many books together for a variety of ages,… Although both Davide and Serge have created dozens of books without the other, the ones they create together are special— demonstrating a depth of emotion and an appreciation of the world without being overly sentimental.”
I pulled that quote because it sums up what I felt when I read this book. It felt seamlessly as if the author had left room for the illustrator and that the illustrator took full advantage of creating a character and telling the visual part of the story. It also should be noted that both names are listed without titles on the cover πŸ™‚
This is the story of George and his shadow. It sounds obvious and as if it’s been done before, but it’s the humor of both the words and the images that adds layers and lots of suprises.
To begin with, George is a man, not a child. And yet his antics and observations in the story are very child-like.
When George awakes one morning to find a guest sitting across from him at the kitchen table, he asks “Who are you?”
“”I’m your shadow,” answered the shadow.
“What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be on the floor?”
“I was hungry.””
The Shadow follows George all around and George isn’t really a fan of having a constant companion. George grows more and more annoyed by his ever-present follower and tries a lot of very funny ways to get rid of his shadow.
Like cutting him apart,

vacuuming him up,

and offering him garlic.
When George’s dog seems to think the shadow is okay, George begins to see that they can have a lot of fun together.
Finally, George’s shadow decides to take a very long nap and poor George realizes how much he misses his new friend.
I’m not going to spoil the ending— please pick this up and tell me if you were surprised by the clever little twist? I was!
I don’t know how Serge Bloch manages to inject so much humor and character with just a few lines. Even George’s morning facial stubble made me chuckle.
Kids will laugh because of the funny antics. They might recognize themselves as having lost their patience with a friend who always tags along like a shadow. They might connect to some of the big picture about how being inclusive can lead to more opportunities and growth. They might even notice the message about self acceptance and appreciating everything about yourself.
But none of that really matters, because it’s a wonderful picture book.




Thank you!

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Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Jennifer is the illustrator and author of several acclaimed picture books. Most recently is Always by My Side, 'A Stuffie Story', which she wrote and illustrated. She also is both the author and illustrator of Playing Possum, and Blue Ethel. Jennifer illustrated Gondra’s Treasure, written by Newbery award winner Linda Sue Park. As well as, Sometimes You Fly, by Newbery medalist, Katherine Applegate. She illustrated Yaks Yak, Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park, The Inventor's Secret, What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford, by Suzanne Slade, Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons, by Alice B. McGinty, and The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz.


  1. Fun to think about a shadow wanting more than to hang around on the floor all the time!

  2. Hi Terri,

    Thanks so much for stopping by Picture Book Builders and taking the time to comment!

  3. I love the art and the quirky humor. Can’t wait to see how it ends! Thanks for sharing this, Jennifer!

  4. Thank you for bringing this book to our attention, Jennifer! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the topic.

  5. This definitely tickled my funny bone, and I MUST see how it ends! πŸ˜€

  6. It looks like a great book. I love the theme of inclusion, as my granddaughter has a disability, which some kids don’t understand. But her school and her 1st grade class have been absolutely wonderful about inclusion and she is doing so well and learning so much in that environment. I think the typical kids learn from her too! Everyone benefits from inclusion! I’d love to read this book to the entire class!

    • Hi Sharon, I’m so glad that you took the time to visit our blog and comment. It’s wonderful to hear that your granddaughter is in such an encouraging environment. My kids’ kindergarten teacher always said, “different is okay” which became a family mantra πŸ™‚

  7. That looks hysterical! It also feels familiar, like I may have read it at some time. Guess I’ll have to read it (again)! Thanks!

  8. I think it is, Janet! Thanks for visiting!

  9. I will definitely be on the hunt for this one – can’t wait to read the surprise ending.
    It looks so clever and charming! Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

  10. So clever! Can’t wait to see the ending! Illustrations are so simple yet “full.”

  11. I agree, Beth! Hope you like the book and thank you for stopping by today!

  12. Oh my! Isn’t this adorable! I’d love to read this to a class of preschoolers.

  13. This looks terrific!! And I love the premise. And am fascinated by the art! Going to search this out this week. Thanks, Jennifer!

  14. Oh the brilliant absurdity of it all! Sounds like my kind of fun. It’s going on my TBR list. Thank you, Jennifer!

  15. I can’t wait to read and study it. Thanks for the heads up.

  16. So happy to recommend it, Susan! Hope you like it!

  17. What a clever way to introduce the theme! I have to find this book today!!

  18. I really liked this one, and that the use of an adult protagonist helped make it even more fun!

  19. Great book and great insights, Jennifer! I really appreciated that idea of the fact that George is an adult, but his thoughts/antics are child like! I miss books where the main character is an adult. Feels like don’t see too many of them any more.

  20. This book looks completely, quirkily charming! Thanks for the recommendation.

  21. Love this book! And yes, I was surprised by the ending.

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