The Curious George books are a series created by the husband-and-wife team of Margret and H. A. Rey. Only the husband is credited in the earlier of the seven books, although the wife did most of the actual writing. The first was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1941.
All the Curious George books offer good stories and amusing pictures that delight children. The hero is obviously the alter ego of every little boy who is both nice and naughty—in other words, of every real little boy. Yet the books should be used only with care, because frequently the stories fail to teach that to be bad is really bad. Even worse, they sometimes show the monkey in daredevil antics that would be dangerous for any little boy to copy. In the first book, for example, the monkey tries to fly unassisted and nearly drowns. Later he does a tightrope-walking stunt on telephone lines. Then he succeeds in flying by holding onto a fistful of balloons. Anyone familiar with little boys knows that they are already inclined to do dumb things risking life and limb. Further encouragement from a simian role model is hardly what they need.
Curious George (1941)
Curious George Takes a Job (1947)
Curious George Rides a Bike (1952)
Curious George Gets a Medal (1957)
Curious George Flies a Kite (1958)
Curious George Learns the Alphabet (1963)
Curious George Goes to the Hospital (1966)
Another 27 titles appeared between 1984 and 1993.
The emergence of Curious George as a media icon has spawned additional stories in recent years. These are not done by the original creators and are vastly inferior. Based on a television series in the 1980s, another 27 titles appeared between 1984 and 1993 with Margret Rey as coauthor along with Alan J. Shalleck. A more recent television series has led to a flow of more books starting in 1998. These latest adventures of the mischievous monkey now come to well over twenty titles.
All the original stories are currently available either singly or in compilation with others.
© 2007, 2012 Stanley Edgar Rickard (Ed Rickard, the author). All rights reserved.