Curious George & H.A. Rey

 The Couple Behind Curious George: Margret & H.A. Rey

Dorge or Curious George is a much loved character in our house – from his musical cartoons to his whimsical adventures on paper. I grew up with Curious George stories, and our toddler loves the curious monkey as much as I did.  As a children’s lit person, I obviously analyze authors and books, but even more,  as I parent,  I enjoy seeing how my toddler interacts with certain characters.  The sheer silliness and curiosity of George in each situation, like camping, reflects the world in which a toddler might love to discover.

In looking around Pinterest and Curious George, I was fascinated to discover the background of the authors – Margret and H.A. Rey.  They were a couple who were both from Germany, but they began working together in Brazil.  Their time in Brazil was where H.A. Rey become enamored with jungle animals, like monkeys.  There, he could watch animals and practice drawing them.

What’s even more interesting is that the Reys moved back to Europe right before WWII, and they had to escape from France right as the Nazis were taking over the country.

The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey

I order this short, illustrated story of their escape and really enjoyed reading it! It certainly gave me a new perspective and appreciation for how literature came to know George. The book is meant for younger readers with illustrations, photographs, and a relatively easy reading level.  However, adults will be fascinated by the story, too.  Teachers: this would be a great addition to reading George stories and crafts.

We were lucky enough to get gifted many Curious George books at our baby shower, and here are a few options that we enjoy reading.  The Complete Adventures is a large, condensed book with many stories which I think we’ll enjoy more when our toddler is older.

The Complete Adventures of Curious George: 70th Anniversary Edition

A Treasury of Curious George