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George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends (George and Martha)

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4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  9,267 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
35 Stories. George and Martha: not, as one might think, the first president and his spouse, but two hippopotamuses created by the singular talent of James Marshall. For the past quarter century, these stories have entertained, intrigued, and delighted readers of all ages. The portly animals have also taught us, in a humorous and lighthearted way, about what it means to be ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 27th 1997 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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John Fanning
Aug 02, 2012 John Fanning rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, funny
Well, when reading to your 2 and a half year old you don't usually start laughing out loud. This book made me do it not once, but 3 times.

I've read a lot of kids books to my children - we don't have a TV - but George and Martha is one of the best ones. Hands down. It's a cross between Roald Dahl's children's books and David Sedaris' memoirs...

My boys (both 8) favorite story in it is the Mirror one. When asked how many stars to give the book they said 10 when I gave them the choice between 1 and
...more
Sarah
Mar 03, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
They taught me to never say, "I told you so". Also, don't be vain, dancing is good, and you've got to be able to laugh at yourself. Probably most importantly, to say, "Voulez-vous m'embrasser?" when I want a kiss.

These stories are perfect! And so funny. I've been reading them to my soon-to-be nieces and they love them, too. Yay!

Sarah Montambo Powell.
Ben Loory
Feb 12, 2011 Ben Loory rated it it was amazing
god, i loved these books so much when i was little, but then somehow i completely forgot about them, until today i was in the bookstore looking for the bathroom and i stumbled on this in the children's section. i stood there and read the whole thing; i couldn't help it, it was so great, i almost cried. every story is absolutely perfect, full of wisdom and beauty and the strangest understated humor. not a word out of place, not a word too many, and the drawings make the whole thing come alive.

i u
...more
Sharalyn
Sep 17, 2013 Sharalyn rated it it was amazing
We have the complete collection (all of the George and Martha books in one volume). This one is our favorite. Mostly because my 2 year old reads them to herself which leaves us in hysterical giggles (note, she has a hard time with "s" at the beginning of words...).

"George and Marfa and da pit pea poop. Marfa like to make poop. But George no like poop. He eat da poop. But Marfa brings more poop she make. George hide poop in his shoes. Marfa see him hide da poop. Marfa no make poop anymore. Marfa
...more
Meredith
Jan 25, 2011 Meredith rated it really liked it
George and Martha are the hippo version of Frog and Toad, or maybe Frog and Toad are the amphibian version of George and Martha. As a child, I made Dad read our paperback copies of these stories until the books fell apart. My favorite stories were the one where George gets a gold tooth and the one where George peeks in Martha's bathroom window, prompting her to upturn the entire bathtub onto his head.
Amy Groesbeck
Apr 30, 2009 Amy Groesbeck rated it it was amazing
I loved George and Martha when I was growing up. These books are about two hippo friends who always find themselves in hilarious and ridiculous conflicts, but yet somehow find a happy solution. You can purchase the series in a compilation or individually. I prefer the compilation, but the individual books are great for kids because they’re easier to handle. This series is perfect for early grade classrooms and emergent readers. The stories are short and composed of simple text. The George and Ma ...more
Laura
Sep 28, 2007 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
The title is speaks for itself: George and Martha are two lovable best friends who enjoy a series of mundane yet delightful "adventures" together that teach children the value of friendship without sounding at all didactic.

I think Martha's adventure with the diving board and with George's Mexican jumping bean collection are my favorites. The illustrations are just great, and I prefer the separate, soft cover books to the complete edition because, as a kid, it was always fun to check out a stack
...more
Kristine Hansen
This is friendship.

At first I was a little skeptical. There didn't seem to be much substance in drawing or text. But a closer look showed me a whole lot going on between the lines. And it's funny how a couple strokes of the pen could put a whole world of emotion into the eyes of Martha or the posture of George. Brilliant. Funny and brilliant.

This edition is especially nice because I love all the bits about the life of James Marshall. The memories of other authors / illustrators make me wish tha
...more
Gina
Aug 02, 2007 Gina rated it it was amazing
Fantastic children stories about two best friends. I loved these stories growing up! And if you can find the hardcover version of George and Martha (not the complete stories, but the original book) it smells wonderful! I'm such a book nerd, I love the smells of certain books, and this was maybe the first book whose smell I fell in love with!
Annie
Sep 08, 2007 Annie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: childrens
Fantastic! I think I'm going to buy this book for myself! I always loved George and Martha as a kid. It turns out I still love them as an adult! These books are so smart and funny! If I had children, I would rather have the separate books. The big book is hard to handle when reading to a child on your lap. However, as a wierdo adult, the big book works well!
Bryce
Apr 02, 2008 Bryce rated it it was amazing
The complete collection of the illustrated stories of George and Martha, two hippos who are best friends. These simple and very short stories teach some of the best lessons about friendship. There are also some great one liners: "For Shame" "I told some fibs" "We are friends but there is such a thing as privacy" "Have some consideration!"
Wendi
Jan 11, 2010 Wendi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
George and Martha. SO FUNNY. Snort milk through your nose funny. These friends are prettied up or acting daintily around each other. Sometimes they get along and sometimes George does something that makes Martha want to punch him in the nose, like read her journal! A great book to read to your kids!
Mrs. Meers
Aug 30, 2008 Mrs. Meers rated it it was amazing
You've gotta have an oddball sense of humor to really enjoy these stories-- they'll have a hilariously bizarre plot, then end abruptly! You find yourself turning the last page of each story back and forth, wondering if you skipped something. I happen to like those sorts of things, so this compilation is a favorite. I especially like the story about narcissistic Martha's mirror...
Mark Desrosiers
Oct 24, 2007 Mark Desrosiers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
I never read picture books when I was a kid (it was all newspapers, street signs, and my mom's nursing textbooks for me), so I didn't encounter this series until I had to read it to other people's kids. And it blew my mind: you can tell Marshall is half-talking to us adults with his itchy relationship lessons and trickster dance maneuvers. The most sublime couple ever, these two hippos.
Dave
Nov 05, 2009 Dave rated it it was amazing
The BEST!

p.s. Do you know what famous George and Martha, Marshall named his hippos after (hint: not George and Martha Washington).

It was the characters from the play/movie, Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolfe. That's how you know Marshall was awesome.
Empress
Nov 26, 2007 Empress rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: river-horses and ambiguous river-horse suitors.
You'd be a damn fool not to love a big fat hippo with an unstoppable sweet-tooth. And besides, the word "hippopotami" is totally rad and translates awesomely into any language (as does "jellyfish" for your information.)
Kelsey
Sep 28, 2007 Kelsey rated it it was amazing
it is amazing what emotions marshall can convey via two short lines as hippo eyes. so funny and never pandering to the grown-ups who read it (ahem). this compilation also features a splendid introduction by maurice sendak.
Roxanne
Nov 15, 2007 Roxanne rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest books in my home. A must for all ages!!! Are George and Martha a couple? Or just great friends? It doesn't matter. They find themselves in situations that everyone can relate to.
Rahyab
May 23, 2010 Rahyab rated it it was amazing
We love these. Marshall's work communicates hilarity and feelings with spare lines and minimal words. Borrowed from the library three years ago and spent our vacation at OBX reading it on a sunny deck to C (then 5) and N (then 2). Ended up buying a copy and they still love it.
Vicki
Mar 26, 2008 Vicki rated it really liked it
I just finished reading this book to my sweetie last night. They've been wonderful bedtime stories -- full of James Marshall's sweet and funny touches... We enjoyed this so much that we're going to read them all again!
Destinee Sutton
Feb 25, 2009 Destinee Sutton rated it it was amazing
George and Martha are hilarious.
The Reading
Oct 02, 2008 The Reading rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites in my childhood.
Hugh
Jul 19, 2010 Hugh rated it it was amazing
I like when George drew the scary picture of Martha because she looked in the mirror too much!
e
Dec 27, 2008 e rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
George and Martha.
two hippos.
in a confusing world , they explore etiquette, friendship, pea soup, carnivals,sleepy picnics, journal writing, and gold teeth.
absurdity ensues.
Joyce
Jun 30, 2008 Joyce rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorites - and I even like the split pea soup.
Olivia
Aug 20, 2007 Olivia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
A book everyone will LOVE!!!
Joan
Dec 18, 2007 Joan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult
George and Martha are still good friends of mine. One of those childrens' books that I still find a lot of fun to read.
April
Sep 10, 2009 April rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
What is it about George and Martha? It has a similar charm to Frog & Toad. Just simple, subtle, tongue-in-cheek stories. Awesome.
Leighann
Jul 20, 2007 Leighann rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who have friends
The first and only "relationship" book you'll ever need.
Megan
Mar 18, 2008 Megan rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-the-kids
I loved the Pea Soup story when I was little. I love the The Bathtub one now.
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James Edward Marshall (October 10, 1942 – October 13, 1992), who also wrote as Edward Marshall, was a children's author and illustrator.

His father worked on the railroad, was a band member in the 1930s, and his mother sang in the local church choir. His family later moved to Beaumont, Texas. Marshall said: "Beaumont is deep south and swampy and I hated it. I knew I would die if I stayed there so I
...more
More about James Marshall...

Other Books in the Series

George and Martha (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • George and Martha Encore
  • George and Martha Rise and Shine
  • George and Martha Round and Round
  • George and Martha One Fine Day
  • George and Martha Tons of Fun
  • George and Martha Back in Town
  • George and Martha: Full of Surprises
  • George and Martha: One More Time
  • George and Martha Two Great Friends Early Reader
  • George and Martha: The Best of Friends Early Reader

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