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The Original Curious George Hardcover – October 26, 1998


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The Original Curious George + The Complete Adventures of Curious George: 70th Anniversary Edition + Gund Curious George Stuffed Animal, 16 inches
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Curious George
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Collectors edition (October 26, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395922720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395922729
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.1 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As the introduction explains, the watercolor paintings that accompany this special edition of the very first Curious George story made their way out of Paris on the back of Hans Rey's bicycle, as he and his wife, Margaret, narrowly escaped the German occupation. By way of Spain and Brazil, Rey and his work came to the United States, where cash-strapped children's publishers always required "color separation" art--i.e., a different drawing for each color. So Rey's watercolors were not used, and for subsequent books he never even did them; only now, for the first time, has that first set been used directly. Otherwise, it's the story you probably already know, though a bit more luxuriously produced, about how Curious George came to make life a lot more interesting for the Man in the Yellow Hat. (Ages 3 to 8) --Richard Farr

About the Author

Hans Augusto Rey was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1898. As a child, he spent much of his free time in that city's famous Hagenbeck Zoo drawing animals. After serving in the army during World War I, he studied philology and natural science at the University of Hamburg. He then married Margret Rey and they moved to Montmartre for four years. The manuscript for the first Curious George books was one of the few items the Reys carried with them on their bicycles when they escaped from Paris in 1940. Eventually, they made their way to the United States, and Curious George was published in 1941. Curious George has been published in many languages, including French, German, Japanese, Afrikaans, and Norwegian. Additional Curious George books followed, as well as such other favorites as CECILY G. AND THE NINE MONKEYS and FIND THE CONSTELLATIONS.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amy Green on November 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
THIS EDITION:
I compared the original watercolors in this special edition with the 'pre-separated' illustrations used in the original publication of Curious George. I am an artist and I have to say I actually like the second (pre-separated) illustrations better. They are more crisp, clean and consistent. The watercolors seem kind of sloppy by comparison, and more like sketches than like finished illustrations. Great to have if you are a Curious George collector though.

CURIOUS GEORGE, THE BOOK:
I was born in '71 and loved all the original Curious George books. I don't remember how old I was when we started reading them, but I remember them well. I am extremely sensitive and I love animals, but the stories didn't have any negative effect on me. Some reviewers feel they aren't good for today's kids, or have said their children reacted badly to them.

Re: pipe smoking - I certainly never noticed the smoking in the book or thought that because people in it (or any other book/movie) were doing it I should too. I 'smoked' candy cigarettes as a kid in the '70s, yet I have never had a desire to smoke. I also have never wanted to fly off a boat, be in a movie, or a hundred other things George does. And the main message of all the books is one of the main things children must learn: try to control your impulses because they can lead to trouble. Don't act without thinking. Don't try to fly off a boat because you will almost drown like George did! If you eat a puzzle piece you might have to go to the hospital like George did! Etc. A secondary but equally important message is that even when you do get into 'mischief' people will still love you (and will not abandon you, as the man in the yellow hat does in the 2006 animated movie Curious George).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Despite the colonialist/imperialist undercurrents, which was acceptable for the time the book was published, this is a marvelous tale of mischief, hard-knocks and learning. This book allows children to see that it is acceptable to make mistakes and still be deserving of love and understanding. To the reviewer in Ann Arbor, MI: it is fabulous that you are passionate about something, to hate is almost to love.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joyce E. Eddy on October 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An original Curious George book is a special find and this one is in pristine condition, minus the notations from the New York Public Library from which it was deleted. It is authentically original, which is obvious from the feel of the paper and the type of ink used. I bought it for an inexpensive gift, but want to keep it for myself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rotifer on December 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
let me say that I agree with all the issues have found in the Curious George books. There is no sensitivity to George's place in his natural habitat. There is also little consideration on the part of TMWTYH about using him for his own purposes, i.e. giving (or selling him?) to the zoo and then happily puffing on his cigar while discussing George's movie with the producer. Despite these shortcomings and more, I like H.A. Rey's books. They have an intelligence and palpability that is rare in most children's books. Rey's illustrations alone make the books worth reading. He writes with honesty enveloped in disarming childlike innocence. I am quite impressed with his ability to bring the iniquities of life with the happiness that can come out of unfortunate events. And I don't think I'm reading too closely into the story. Given Rey's own troubled history, it feels like he put a lot of soul in his CG books, which speaks more than volumes of history can. Rey was not perfect, not just by our standards, but as any human is inherently imperfect. My 4 year old doesn't get the subtle references or meaning in Rey's books but he enjoys them nonetheless. He laughs especially hard at George's encounter with ether, and I get a kick out of it too, cus he laughs with such innocence, having no idea what ether or even intoxication is.
In conclusion, I don't believe in censorship. I don't make a study of imperialist undertones in literature when I read my child books at bed time, but when he asks a question, I try to answer it as best as I can, simply. Life isn't simple and life isn't fair; he's going to have to learn this sooner or later. I have no desire to shelter him from content from either books or movies, no matter what their mpaa rating is. But I let him choose what content he wants to focus on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lara C. Quarles on January 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is better on paper. This was my first experience buying a book for my toddler on my kindle and I think it will be my last. Sometimes the old is better. All of the illustrations are in black and white btw.
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More About the Author

Hans Augusto Rey was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1898. As a child, he spent much of his free time in that city's famous Hagenbeck Zoo drawing animals. After serving in the army during World War I, he studied philology and natural science at the University of Hamburg. He then married Margret Rey and they moved to Montmartre for four years. The manuscript for the first Curious George books was one of the few items the Reys carried with them on their bicycles when they escaped from Paris in 1940. Eventually, they made their way to the United States, and Curious George was published in 1941. Curious George has been published in many languages, including French, German, Japanese, Afrikaans, and Norwegian. Additional Curious George books followed, as well as such other favorites as CECILY G. AND THE NINE MONKEYS and FIND THE CONSTELLATIONS.

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