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Curious George: 75th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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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 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 numerous languages. And many, many Curious George books have followed.
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This is another classic that I am thrilled to be passing on to my child. It is beautifully illustrated with bright colors and attractive drawings. We laugh with George, and discuss his consequences. She knows that it a story. My little monkey just loves Curious George, and I am certain that yours will, too.
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).
Re: George's capture - If you don't like George's capture but let your kids go to the zoo, that's hypocritical. I hope you are instead telling them how wrong the zoo is because they do worse things to capture animals than what happened to George. (Google "Animal Capture Equipment.") And to those who equate the prison and the zoo, just look at the two illustrations: A dark cell with a bit of cheese, vs. a tree in the middle of a sunny open island (not a cage)? I wish all zoos kept all their monkeys this way. Anyway, it's clear from the later stories that George doesn't stay at the zoo for long. He goes to live with the MWTYH. I agree sending George to jail doesn't make any sense; nor does sending him to a human hospital rather than a vet. But, such is the realm of fiction. I always enjoyed reading about how he escaped from the jail. And in fact the Jewish authors fled Europe at the outbreak of WWII.
My 2.5 yr old daughter really likes the book and also the stop-motion animated versions of "Curious George" and "CG Goes to the Hospital" (Curious George (Collector's Edition)) which follow the books very closely. (One change I did notice is that George's pipe smoking is done behind the man's back and makes him sick. Good way to handle that scene.) She is very empathetic also and didn't react badly to anything in either story. Incidentally my family liked that stop-motion video WAY better than the 2006 animated movie.
I wrote this because I was really floored by the content of the negative reviews for this edition and also for The Original Curious George. No wonder we are raising "A Nation of Wimps" as the upcoming generation is now being called and with good reason. Kids are breaking down in record numbers. The overinvolvement and overprotection of helicopter parenting is backfiring. And it's little things like this that contribute. I don't really agree with those who say "It's just a children's book." Children are very impressionable, it's true. But to what degree are we to control those impressions? Probably more than our grandparents or maybe even parents did, but definitely less than this generation of parents is doing. There is a balance without which we're crippling our kids.
Here's what is somewhat shocking...George is abducted from Africa by the Man In The Yellow Hat and no reason is given for why the man kidnaps him. George is tied up in a bag with a rope around his neck and is taken on a boat to a larger boat. He gets into trouble, almost drowns, gets thrown in jail, etc.
I was very disturbed by the images of George's abduction from Africa but I continued to read the story to my daughter who loves George. However, when a good friend from Cameroon was reading her the book she pulled me aside to explain to me that the story of George's abduction and subsequent trip to the boat was completely disturbing to her due to the similarities to the way Africans were abducted and forced into slavery. She found the book terribly disturbing.
It's obvious that this country has gone pretty Politically Correct nutso but you have to respect the history of this book. I may not agree with the story or imagery but altering it or censoring it would be a huge and dangerous mistake. That is not my intention or wish. Also, I very highly doubt the Reys were pro-slavery or racists cause they had problems of their own escaping from the Nazis in Europe with this manuscript and very little else to their names. However, I'd feel remiss if I did not mention that some of the images in this book and the story of how George was taken from Africa can conjure up a disturbing correlation to the slave trade in Africa.
Now we read our daughter another Curious George book instead.
The books are simple books with mostly simple sentences. On the inside cover of each book there is a helpful guide that will tell you words you will see in the book to learn and other word that are in the book so you can look for them. I have included a picture of one cover so you can see what it looks like, also a picture to how you the cover of a book along with the cardboard case in which the books come. The 3rd picture I have included shows a couple of pages of one book to give you an idea of what they look like inside.
I am looking forward to many more hours, days, weeks, months and years of reading with my son. My son is 3 and already learning some words... it's so exciting :) If my review helped you please click the button below, thank you and God bless!