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The Complete Adventures of Curious George

The Enduring Popularity of Curious George

Who isn’t smitten by Curious George? Whether you’re seventy, forty seven or four years old, the inquisitive little fellow who always seems to get into one scrape after another has, in all likelihood, captured your heart.

Perhaps his popularity lies in the predictability of his unpredictability. You know that the second the man with the
yellow hat leaves the house, warning George to be careful, that George is going to get into trouble.

And when George starts getting into trouble, he only digs himself deeper. In Curious George Rides a Bike, he not only makes boats out of all the newspapers he was supposed to deliver, he also ruins his new bike and creates havoc at the circus when the ostrich swallows his bugle.

But, in the end, George untangles himself and saves the day: He rescues the baby bear that has escaped from the circus and is applauded for his heroics. Similarly, in Curious George Goes to the Hospital, his antics cause a terrible mess and disrupt the mayor’s visit. But his mischievousness also causes sad little Betsy to dissolve into laughter and enjoy herself for the first time at the hospital.

Curious George puts a smile on your face, just like he did with Betsy. He appeals to the desire of both the young and the young-at-heart to break the rules just a little and, well, satisfy curiosity. As Margret Rey observed, “George can do what kids can’t do. He can paint a room from the inside. He can hang from a kite in the sky. He can let the animals out of their pens on the farm. He can do all these naughty things that kids would like to do.”

One cannot give enough credit to the Reys. H. A.’s delightful illustrations and Margret’s clear and precise turn of phrase may appear effortless, but that’s only after they spent a year laboring over each book to achieve that perfect look and tone. Instead of relying on marketing surveys for book ideas, H.A. and Margret Rey looked to the child within themselves that they never seemed to have lost. “I know what I liked as a child,” H.A. once said, “and I don’t do any book that I, as a child, wouldn’t have liked.”

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