Curious George

( 30 )

Overview

On June 14, 1940, Hans and Margret Rey fled Paris as the German army invaded the city. Escaping on bicycles, they took only winter coats and four picture books strapped to the racks. Among those books were the watercolors and a rough text for Fifi, later known to the world as Curious George.

However, when Curious George was actually published in the United States in 1941, these original watercolors were not used for the printing. Hans Rey was required by his editor to redraw the...

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Curious George (Read-aloud)

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Overview

On June 14, 1940, Hans and Margret Rey fled Paris as the German army invaded the city. Escaping on bicycles, they took only winter coats and four picture books strapped to the racks. Among those books were the watercolors and a rough text for Fifi, later known to the world as Curious George.

However, when Curious George was actually published in the United States in 1941, these original watercolors were not used for the printing. Hans Rey was required by his editor to redraw the entire book, creating preseparated art, so that costs would be minimal. The Reys retained the original art and would, on rare occasion, treat carefully chosen friends and collectors to George as he was first envisioned in Paris those many years ago. During their lifetimes they parted with only five pieces of the extraordinary art.

For this edition, the original Curious George drawings have been retrieved and reassembled, using modern reproductive techniques. For readers, comparing the originals - hat for hat and grin for grin - against their published counterparts will be intriguing and a great deal of fun. Now all of George's millions of friends can experience what only a few people have ever seen: George "in the act of becoming himself."

Throughout their lives the Reys created many lively titles together, but it is their incorrigible little monkey Curious George who has become an American icon, selling millions of books and capturing the hearts of readers everywhere.

The curiosity of a newly-captured monkey gets him into considerable trouble.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The first adventure in this highlyi popular series tells how the little monkey Curious George, caught in the jungle and brought back to the city by a man in a yellow hat, can't help being interested in all the new things around him. Though well meaning, George's curiosity always gets him into trouble. Young readers can easily relate, and Rey's cheerful illustrations celebrate Curious George's innocence.

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-The timeless antics of Curious George are given new life in this read-along series, which faithfully follows the text of each story. A male narrator, accompanied by minimal musical interludes and sound effects, reads the story, once with page-turn signals and once without on each CD. Sounds effects occasionally explain pertinent parts of the unspoken story, like a splash in the water when George takes a dive into the ocean. Curious George Feeds the Animals has a female reader, with a male counterpart reading the Man with the Yellow Hat's lines. Margaret and H.A. Rey's original character has been entertaining children for decades, but it's hard to imagine a child today who wouldn't be puzzled by The Man with the Yellow Hat plucking George from his environment and transporting him to another country, George's imprisonment (and jail-break!) for inadvertently dialing the fire department while playing with the phone, or the fact that the Man in the Yellow Hat leaves his charge unattended when he takes him to a movie. Still, a naughty anthropomorphic monkey is entertaining, and adults may want to take the opportunity to explain to pint-sized listeners that their monkey-shines won't warrant the same results. Curious George certainly deserves a spot on the shelf, and these engaging stories will provide a good exercise in imagination and creativity. A solid choice, especially with an all-new animated adventure based on the classic tales debuting as a feature film in February 2006.-Kirsten Martindale, formerly Menomonie Public Library, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Small children will wear the book out with affection." Horn Book
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395150238
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/28/1973
  • Series: Curious George Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 43,278
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.13 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

H. A. and Margret Rey

The Reys were born in Hamburg, Germany. Hans Augusto Rey (1898-1977) met his wife-to-be, Margret (1906-1996), at a party in her father’s home in Germany; when he first caught a glimpse of her, she was sliding down the banister. In their twenties and thirties they lived in Paris and in Rio de Janeiro, where Hans sold bathtubs in villages along the Amazon River. Eventually Cambridge, Massachusetts, became the Reys’ home and community. Throughout their lives the Reys created many lively books together, including SPOTTY, PRETZEL, and lift-the-flap books such as HOW DO YOU GET THERE? The manuscript of the first Curious George books was one of the few items the Reys carried with them on their bicycles when they escaped from Paris in 1940. Eventually, they made their way to the United States, and CURIOUS GEORGE was published in 1941. Their incorrigible little monkey has become an American icon, selling millions of books and capturing the hearts of readers everywhere. CURIOUS GEORGE has been published in many languages, including French, German, Japanese, Afrikaans, and Norwegian. Additional Curious George books followed, as well as such other favorites as CECILY G. AND THE NINE MONKEYS and FIND THE CONSTELLATIONS.

Biography

In their nearly 40-year-long professional collaboration, the husband-and-wife team of Margret and H. A. Rey created one of the most memorable figures in 20th-century children’s literature: Curious George, the little monkey with an insatiable appetite for adventure.

The Reys, like George, had tremendous zest for travel and new experience. Both were born in Germany, H. A. (Hans Augusto) in 1898, and Margret (Margarete Elisabeth Waldstein) in 1906. Although the two became acquainted in their homeland, they fell in love after each moved to Rio de Janeiro, where they married in 1935. Their honeymoon led them to Paris, where Hans published his first book for children, Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys, introducing Curious George as a peripheral character.

In 1940 the Reys, both of whom were Jewish, fled Paris as the Nazis mounted their invasion of the city, making their way by bicycle to Spain, by train to Lisbon, then to Brazil, New York City, and finally Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they made their home. The few belongings they carried with them from Europe included the manuscript of Curious George, which Houghton Mifflin published in 1941. Together they created six more classic Curious George adventures: Curious George Flies a Kite, Curious George Gets a Medal, Curious George Learns the Alphabet, Curious George Goes to the Hospital, Curious George Rides a Bike, and Curious George Takes a Job.

Like Babar, Bambi, Pippi Longstocking, and countless other children’s book characters, George is, for all purposes, an orphan, one who was separated from his family. (He was kidnapped, in fact, by The Man with the Yellow Hat, who has gained his own degree of fame through the series.) Admonished to stay home and be good, George invariably lets his curiosity get the better of him and winds up in some kind of trouble every time: in jail, on a runaway cow, kidnapped by circus promoters, or in the hospital. In a possible nod to the Reys’s own hair-raising escape from the Nazis, every story involves an antic chase scene. And every story ends in a happy reunion with the man with the yellow hat, who is George’s trainer, keeper, teacher, disciplinarian, and parental figure.

According to their publisher, the Reys were not just a writer/designer team. Although Hans was primarily focused on ideas and illustrations, and Margret on writing, their work often overlapped. The result was pure magic. The Curious George books transcend time and space, driven by a sincere understanding of the forces that propel children: curiosity, resourcefulness, and love of home.

Good To Know

H. A. Rey also independently produced a series of astronomy books (including Find the Constellations), and Margret wrote Pretzel, about a dachshund, and Spotty, about a rabbit, with H. A. Rey’s illustrations. They lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts until their deaths, H. A. Rey’s in 1977 and Margret Rey’s in 1996.

Margret's name does not appear on some of the earlier Curious George collaborations because, she said, "When we first came to America our publisher suggested we use my husband's name because the children's book field was so dominated by women. They thought it would sell better. After a time I thought 'why the devil did I do that?' So since then my name has appeared also."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Hans Augusto Rey and Margarete Elisabeth Waldstein (full names)
    1. Place of Death:
      Cambridge, Massachusetts; Margret died in 1996, H.A. in 1977

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2009

    I guess whether you enjoy this book with your kids depends on how serious you take the messages books give and what your individual values are.

    I've always loved the character of Curious George. I had the stuffed animal growing up and was even referred to as "George" for a short time as a child. When I was in a rush to grab a book for my son last month I bought this original Curious George story assuming I would love it. Turns out, I guess, I've never actually read the original which covers how George ended up with the man in the yellow hat to begin with. Essentially, the man shows up in Africa with his hunting rifle, sticks a bag over George to catch him and takes him back to the U.S. to live in a zoo. I immediately felt like it wasn't the right book for us! Yes, he's still the same lovable, curious little creature, but the gun and taking him out of his natural habitat aren't values I want to start off teaching my little one when there are so many other choices of books with purely positive plots and messages.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Values such as love, kindness, and knowledge

    I ADORE Curious George. He exhibits love and caring, exactly what any normal "child" should. Yes, he gets into trouble and his owner is there to see that he knows the correct wayvto do something. How marvelous to instill such love and pass on knowledge!! I guess all of this must have been missed on some people.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

    timeless

    this is a timeless classic childrens book, on par with Babar and and the little train that could

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2013

    Good

    Another good read.

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  • Posted July 16, 2013

    I would recommend any version of Curious George, especially the

    I would recommend any version of Curious George, especially the original 1941 version. The story is sweet and the illustrations are delightful. I would not, however, recommend reading it all in one sitting to a toddler. I broke the story into two readings and that seemed to work out pretty well. Also, even though this is not a chapter book, it seemed like a good way to introduce the concept of them.
    My book is in paperback, which is fine since I'll probably be reading the book to my son. It is a good idea to reinforce the spine of paperbacks with clear packing tape. It will help them last much longer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2012

    good to see chidren's books on nook

    im glad to see one of my favorite childrens books on nook

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Review 1335703785656

    This is a really nice book! 1335703785656

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Amazing

    This book was my favorite book when i was a child! Now i can read it to my nephew while we look at my nook.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2011

    this book

    this book is very good..they should make more of them like this one..i love ccurious george

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    fvnndsgjm

    best

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Curious George Review

    The pictures were not that great. Well we all know that Curious George gets into trouble.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Great story!

    Enjoyable for young and old!

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  • Posted October 8, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Memories

    The recent movie made me go back and re-read the classic book series. This was truly one of my favorite series growing up. I'm glad to share this with my daughter now that she is the right age.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2003

    The first 'big kid' book I ever read!

    This is a great book about a curious monkey named George and how he get into big trouble with the fire department. Curious George was the first 'big kid' book I ever read! I loved it so much I now own the whole collection of books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 1999

    Silly Little Monkey

    George was a curious like monkey. His curiosity got him into a lot of troble. From him being so curious he got to go swimming, use the phone, and got to go flying. He ended up in jail but he brock out in the end he got a good home. For being writen in 1941 the pictures are well drown and it is well writen. This story is so well writen you can actully picture your self as the man with the big yellow hat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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