The original Curious George series had seven books and were written between 1941 and 1966. The original manuscript for the first Curious George book was one of the limited items that the Reys were able to take with them when they fled German occupied France in 1940. They were eventually able to get the book published in the United States. This precious book tells the story of how George lived in Africa, was captured by “the man with the yellow hat,” and was brought to “the big city” to live in the zoo. Eventually he gets into mischief and ends up being taken home by the man with the yellow hat. Through the rest of the original books, George lives with the man with the yellow hat and continues to have one adventure after another. Still, he learns new things despite his inability to stay out of trouble.
Years after the original set of books were published, there was a new crop of Curious George books written and published by Houghton Mifflin Company. These “New Adventures of Curious George” books started in 1998 and are still being published today. Even though authors H.A. and Margret Rey have since passed on, the New Adventures of Curious George books still stay true to character through the clever writing and distinct art. The new books even acknowledge that they are “llustrated in the style if H.A. Rey.”
Why is Curious George so widely loved? What is it about this funny little monkey that grabs the reader’s attention? I think that for some children, they can see a little part of themselves in the curious little creature. Naturally, children love exploring the world around them, which can sometimes lead to trouble, just like with George. He’s basically like a little toddler searching for his next big adventure.