Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review This! Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat

I don't know whether to say Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary, because each one of them would be correct. Curious George is still looking really good and he's only 75 years old! 


Curious George books have been making children happy for a long time.  They have been favorites of children since 1941.  Margret and Hans Augusto Rey were the author and illustrator of the books. They fled France, on home made bicycles, carrying the manuscripts for the first Curious George book with them. In those times, only H.A. Rey was credited with the work on Curious George because there were already a large number of children's books written by female authors.  Even then, marketing was everything and giving the credit to Hans, seemed to give Curious George more "attention".  As he (Curious George) became well known in the literature world of children, credit was given back to Margret and Hans was cast as the illustrator.

  



The original book started with George's capture in Africa by the man with the Yellow Hat. He takes George on a voyage to the 'Big City" where he will live in the zoo.

Much to George's dismay, zoo life was not for him and he escapes.  But George and the Man in the Yellow Hat (who never has a name) are reunited and thus begins all of George's adventures.

In 1947 George gets a job.  In 1952 he learns to ride a bike, in 1957 he get a medal and so his adventures are all about things that would interest and garner the attention of post war children.  Three more books would follow, George Flies a Kite (1958) Curious George Learns the Alphabet (1963) and Curious George goes to the Hospital (1966).  The years were full of changes and prosperity and relative peacefulness.  So the world as a whole was much more relaxed.  Stories of George and his antics were welcomed stories, read to children everywhere.

George and his "man in the yellow hat" are really almost like a father and son.  The man,  as he is referred to in many of the tales, takes George into situations where he will learn something new.  While the original Curious George was only made into 7 different stories, the publishing company adapted several of the Telefilm series into books edited by Margret Rey.  Most of these are out of print, but had been re-released with some new cover art. (For you collectors, keep your eyes open for these 1984-1993.)

A third series called the New Adventures of Curious George appeared in 1998, and still continues to the present day.  New illustrators continue the art work in the same vein as was started by Hans Rey. Children all over the world still seem to love Curious George.

Since his original release, Curious George stories have been made into  two  movie shorts.  He has been featured at water-parks, a Christmas film, and video games.  In 2010 Curious George was still being used for a live-action/computer-animated series.  Public Broadcasting Systems loves Curious George and you can still see him on their PBS channels.   To this day, there is still one toy store that carries everything "Curious George" and that is in Cambridge Mass.  If you get a chance, go for a visit, I'm sure that some childhood memories will be rekindled.


The Only Curious George Store , Cambridge Mass.
Photo credit: http://www.massvacation.com/


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

15 comments:

  1. How interesting that there is an actual store devoted to Curious George. It would be fun to visit. I've been a fan of Curious George for a long time and find the backstory of the authors fascinating.

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    1. Well Miss Elf, you need to go to Cambridge. It's still there and it's a tourist landmark too. Take pictures if you go, please.

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  2. Our 3 year old granddaughter just adores Curious George. We visited a museum in Buffalo that has a whole room dedicated to Curious George. A very interesting story on the authors, something I never knew. Thanks!

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    1. You are so welcome Eugene, My grandchildren still love Curious George too. Grandson has a stuffed one along with a million others of course.

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  3. Curious George was not a part of my own childhood. The little monkey just didn't appeal to me personally. However, he was my husband's favorite children's book character. Knowing he loved him so much certainly improved my opinion of George, and we read is books to our children. Like their father, our children loved that little monkey. Funny little side story, would you believe my husbands trash can in his home office is yellow and has a big picture of Curious George on it. (told you he loves him!)

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    1. Oh Miss Mouse, that is funny. I think I would love a garbage can like that too. Why not make trash fun! On the other part of your comment, yes, the little Monkey is not for everyone. I guess it depends on how he's introduced. My Grands love him though.

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  4. I loved to read Curious George to my girls when they were small! Now, I read him to the grandchildren. What a funny little monkey!

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    1. That's what makes his stories so endearing Beverly. I think he is kind of timeless in his own way. He was funny then and he's still funny.

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  5. oh...I loved Curious George. Happy Birthday Curious George!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed him Dawn. He certainly has a following, that's for sure.

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  6. I'm sure we checked out and read every Curious George book that the library had when my kids were little. Glad that he's still around to read to yet another generation!

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    1. It really is nice to share something from your past with the future generations isn't it Susan? My Grands have loved Curious George too! Books, cartoons, features all of it.

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  7. My brother used to love Curious George. I got acquainted with him when I read to my brother. For some reason my relatives never gave me curious George books. Maybe they didn't want me to imitate him.

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  8. That is too funny Barbara......but I can see that as being a reason. He did get into a lot of trouble sometimes.

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  9. I first heard of Curious George when the movie came out in 2006, while I never saw the movie somehow we had the soundtrack by the amazing Jack Johnson and every time we went in the car my daughter wanted us to play it. I went down to the library to get a copy of the book for her, but she wasn't interested just wanted to hear the songs!

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