Thursday, October 9, 2014

Curious George, By H.A. Rey {1941}


Like Madeline, Curious George has been read and adored for generations. Once again, we are big fans of this little monkey at my house! George even made an appearance on my daughter's second birthday cake.

Plot. An unsuspecting and curious monkey is captured by the man with the yellow hat, brought far from his African home, and gets into all sorts of troubles before landing in the zoo. If Curious George was being published for the first time today, it would so not go over well! The man with the yellow hat kidnaps him, gun slung over his shoulder, and even lets George smoke a pipe. I kind of get a kick out of this ;). How times have changed!

Author. While Margaret Ray's name appears alongside of her husband's in later Curious George titles, I didn't realize that she also played a vital part in the writing of the first book. Apparently they only put Hans Augusto's {yes, the initials H.A. are even cooler than I could have ever hoped for!} name on it to distinguish it from the many other children's books at the time that were authored by females. Yikes.

Thematic Elements. George's unchecked curiosity gets him into all sorts of troubles. Discuss with your child the importance of checking in with a grown-up, and being prudent in their actions.

Educational Opportunities. This might be a great time to pull out a globe or world map and show your child the continent of Africa, George's home. Talk about long journeys by ship, show them pictures of huge sea-faring vessels. Talk about the origins of the animals they see at the zoo.

Activities. 

  • Make a little Curious George for your child's amusement out of a toilet paper roll and this printable
  • Most of these printables are suited for elementary aged children, but preschoolers would enjoy coloring many of the pictures. 
  • And more free coloring sheets. I had a really hard time finding pictures that match the original illustrations. There are TONS of Curious George activities and coloring sheets to accompany the popular PBS cartoon, but for the sake of sticking to the actual book, I tried to be more selective. You will find several sheets from the show at this link, as well as one that is modeled more closely to H.A. Ray's artwork.

Other Resources. My daughter does enjoy the PBS show Curious George, and while there is nothing inherently wrong with it, it isn't anything like the books. I'm not sure when this 3D animation version was made, but it follows the original book well. It is also a fun and different style of animation to expose your kiddos to!

Be sure to also check out... Margaret and H.A. Ray also wrote Curious George Takes a Job, Curious George Rides a Bike, Curious George Gets a Medal, Curious George Flies a Kite, Curious George Learns the Alphabet, and Curious George Goes to the Hospital. You can also find loads of titles based on the 90's films and the currently running PBS series on the shelves of your local library.


Looking for more great books to read with your preschooler? Check out the rest of this 31 Days series here!

Some of the links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small profit at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through both local and church libraries ;). Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

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