Furious George Goes Bananas: A Primate Parody

Overview

George is an ape—not a monkey—and he is perfectly happy living his simple life in the jungle, until one day the man in the funny hat kidnaps him and brings him to the big city. Poor George! Forced to live in a cage at the zoo, then work hard manual labor and be mocked on stage—George has every reason to be upset. In fact, after all the maltreatment, he’s downright furious! So it’s a good thing George is one clever ape. Perhaps getting mad is not the only answer. Readers will laugh out loud when George comes up ...

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Overview

George is an ape—not a monkey—and he is perfectly happy living his simple life in the jungle, until one day the man in the funny hat kidnaps him and brings him to the big city. Poor George! Forced to live in a cage at the zoo, then work hard manual labor and be mocked on stage—George has every reason to be upset. In fact, after all the maltreatment, he’s downright furious! So it’s a good thing George is one clever ape. Perhaps getting mad is not the only answer. Readers will laugh out loud when George comes up with a way to outsmart the man in the funny hat.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rex, creator of the Margaret Wise Brown parodies The Runaway Mummy and Goodnight Goon, takes on the Rey franchise in this escapade. His protagonist’s resemblance to Curious George is only in the details, since Furious George is a huge purple gorilla captured by an opportunist in a pith helmet. The “man in the funny hat,” a craven alter ego to Rey’s fatherly Man in the Yellow Hat, does not care for his captive. He peddles George to a zoo, construction site, Broadway show, and lab, growing richer by the sale. In a running gag that takes aim at the Rey books, he repeatedly refers to Furious George as a monkey, something each buyer attempts to correct. “[H]e ain’t a monkey, he’s an ape,” notes the construction foreman. “A monkey got a tail.” (Like Curious George, Furious doesn’t have one.) Enraged at being locked up, having to lay bricks, etc., Furious George “goes bananas” several times, though Rex makes it clear he’s not destructive by nature—he just wants to get home, which he eventually accomplishes. Rex preserves Rey’s comic-strip palette and earnest tone, while humorously delivering a message about avarice. Ages 5-8. (May)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—This "primate parody" from the creator of Goodnight Goon (2008) and The Runaway Mummy (2009, both Putnam) reworks Curious George as "a great big ape" who turns furious each time he gets a new job. While Rex's earlier titles drew laughs by adhering closely to the originals, this one takes a broader approach. It starts like the "Curious George" books when "a man in a funny hat" captures the creature in the jungle, but this man tries to get rich, selling the ape to a zoo, a construction foreman, and others. Each time the greedy guy pockets the cash, George gets angry and scares everyone away. When he's finally sold to a scientist for a trip to outer space, he traps his former owner and his money in the rocket ship, then hitches a ride on the outside of the craft and parachutes back home. Visual references to H. A. Rey's books, such as a bike crash and a balloon flight, are too subtle to have much impact, so the humor mostly depends on the repeated refrain of "George was furious!" and the accompanying spreads showing him wreaking havoc. Digitally colored cartoon pencil drawings capture the silliness but don't inject enough personality to raise the title beyond the one-joke concept. The clever title and the popularity of Rex's other books may draw interest, but without a more direct tie-in to the originals, this effort might make George's fans go bananas.—Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
George, a very large ape, lives happily in the jungle until a man in a funny hat traps him. The man in the funny hat sells George to a zoo, but George doesn't like being locked up. George goes bananas. The man in the funny hat finds him only to sell him to a construction crew. George works hard, but the foreman doesn't give him water. When a brick falls on George's head, George goes ape! Next the man in the funny hat sells George to a Broadway director. When the audiences laugh at him. George gets furious again. When the man in the funny hat sells George to a scientist who wants to shoot him into space, George finally uses his brain for a little creative revenge and a quick trip back to his beautiful jungle. Rex's latest parody of a classic (Runaway Mummy, 2009, etc.) will tickle the funny bone with its mix of slapstick and deadpan silliness. The bright, digitally colored pencil illustrations hit just the right note of goofy mayhem to please fans of that OTHER George, especially those with an eye for detail. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399254338
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/13/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 994,578
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.74 (w) x 10.54 (h) x 0.36 (d)

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