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George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends

(George and Martha)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  9,714 ratings  ·  198 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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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  9,714 ratings  ·  198 reviews

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Mar 03, 2012 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!

John Fanning
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: funny, children
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
Ben Loory
Feb 12, 2011 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
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
All thirty-five George and Martha stories are collected into one volume.

The stories are divided into seven sections:
* George and Martha
* George and Martha Encore
* George and Martha Rise and Shine
* George and Martha One Fine Day
* George and Martha Tons of Fun
* George and Martha Back in Town
* George and Martha Round and Round

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 my father read our paperbac
Sep 17, 2013 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
Mrs. Meers
Aug 30, 2008 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... ...more
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-over-over
No one, NO ONE, is as wonderful as James Marshall. Profound and funny, sophisticated and simple, his books are inimitable, delightful, evergreen. This collection of all the George and Martha stories is a gem. The essays by friends and admirers are a bonus, especially Maurice Sendak's tribute and Jon Scieszka's witty summary. ...more
Tyler McGaughey
I read/re-read this wry and exquisitely composed collection in bits every night before bed for the past month and nothing has made me feel better in a long time. The words have the crisp scansion of poetry and the pictures the most loopy and deceptive kind of sprezzatura - I mean, this motherfucker knew how to block a scene! Great art for all people of all ages. Friends = 4ever.
Sep 10, 2009 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.
Sep 28, 2007 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
Amy Groesbeck
Apr 30, 2009 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
Katt Hansen
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 02, 2007 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! ...more
Sep 08, 2007 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! ...more
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful collection of my favorite childhood picture books.
Mark Desrosiers
Oct 24, 2007 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. ...more
Apr 02, 2008 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!" ...more
Wendi Lau
Jan 11, 2010 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!
Sep 28, 2007 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.
Nov 15, 2007 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. ...more
Nov 26, 2007 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.) ...more
Mar 26, 2008 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! ...more
Nov 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing

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.
May 23, 2010 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. ...more
May 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Two hippo who are best friends. What's not to love? ...more
Jul 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: believers in ambigious relationships
Shelves: picture-books
I LOVE GEORGE AND MARTHA and I always forget about them! I love the ambigious relationship that seems to pop up in childrens lit as well (Frog and Toad, Herbi and Lottie, etc).
Jul 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who have friends
The first and only "relationship" book you'll ever need. ...more
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
A book everyone will LOVE!!!
Dec 18, 2007 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. ...more
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kathryn by: sis, Melanie
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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

Other books in the series

George and Martha (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • George and Martha
  • 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

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