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Children's LiteratureMargret (1906-1996) and H. A. Rey (1898-1977) escaped from war-torn Europe with nothing but the first Curious George manuscript. It was published in New York in 1941, and since then the charming little monkey has become a standard of children's literature. George did not disappear with the Reys' deaths, though. Books based on his character, like this one, continue to appear. Unlike some post-death publishing reincarnations, Houghton Mifflin—George's original publisher—guards his spirit well. Martha Weston has been chosen to recreate the character. She does not mess with a good thing, but keeps the child-like simplicity intact in her illustrations. This sturdy board book with five spreads follows George and his friend, the man with the yellow hat, as they go for a walk through their neighborhood. With the warmth of a Mr. Rogers sketch, the story unfolds naturally. There are babies to be admired, fresh piles of fruit for George to topple, elementary lessons in opposites, and a little lost dog to be found. The many (also sturdy) lift-up flaps add to the fun. Small fingers will be kept busy exploring with Curious George in this toddler-friendly book. 2003, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 2 to 4.