In 1940, a couple fled Paris on a pair of handmade bicycles, clutching the manuscript of what was to become one of children’s literature’s most beloved books. A year later, Hans Augusto Rey and Margaret Rey published Curious George. Featuring a lively, curious protagonist who finds himself in all kinds of mischief, it has entertained kids for generations, appealing to the little ‘monkey’ in each of them.
Why So Curious?
In the jungles of Africa lives a little monkey named George, who was always, always curious. One day a man wearing a big yellow hat comes to the jungle. George see’s the man and the man see’s George. Instantly the man decides he wants to take George home with him. Setting his hat on the ground he waits until George comes to check it out, than snatches him up. Back on the boat, the mischief begins with George trying to fly, and falling into the water. Later on in the big city, it continues. It seems there is no end to George’s curiosity getting him into all kinds of trouble-luckily for him the man in the big yellow hat shows up just in the nick of time to get him out of a tight spot.
Bright and lively, the illustrations will catch the eye and hold it. Every other page is filled with one scene or another of George getting into trouble. There are quite a few different views offered as well-one scene shows an aerial view of George floating over the city holding onto a bunch of balloons while another gives readers a peek at him through the porthole of a boat.
There’s a reason kids are often times referred to as monkeys. Both are insatiably curious, and both have a tendency to get into mischief. On this note, it’s no wonder kids love Curious George so much. They can relate to his antics on some level, and they find it hilarious to read about them. For parents who might worry they’re kids will think it’s funny to call the fire department after reading about George doing it, take the opportunity to discuss the outcome of the situation, “Why did George get into so much trouble for calling the firemen to the house?”
Ok that sounds like a sure fire way to make story time a bit bland for kids, but you get it. Curious George is a fun book, for youngsters around the age of four it’s a great read.
A Story In And Of Itself
Hans Rey grew up in Germany, close to a zoo. Years later he met his wife, Margaret, while selling bathtubs in Brazil. Yes, selling bathtubs in Brazil. They moved to Paris and in 1940 fled on self-made bicycles just hours ahead of Hitler’s invading army. They escaped with five manuscripts-one of which would later become Curious George. In true collaboration, Hans handled the illustrations while Margaret dealt with the plot and writing. It wasn’t until after they had published a few books that Margaret was given credit for her contributions.