Thursday, September 3, 2009

Curious George

Most recent read: L.M Alcott: Signature of Reform

I LOVE to read the history and background to some of my favorite books-especially older children's books.  I have always been a big fan of the Curious George series by Margret and H.A. Rey, and recently, I've learned some new interesting information about them.

First, it started when I watched the Curious George movie with my nieces and nephew the other night.  I had never seen it, but love the Jack Johnson sound track.  I actually need to watch it again, because I sort of missed the middle.  But what I did see was delightful!  Two things in particular caught my eye.  1) The ship that the Man with the Yellow Hat took to Africa was called the H.A. Rey!  So cute!  (I love it when they slip in details like that!  It's especially fun when they appear in kid's movies as a little extra entertainment for the adults!  Or maybe I'm just a dork.)  And 2) The Man with the Yellow Hat finally got a name!!!  Ted!  That probably delighted me the most.  Ted seemed to fit him, but I was wondering where the name came from.  
Fortunately, I did not have to wait long.  The very next evening, I was putting another niece to bed and read a story that she picked out.  She selected See the Circus, by (wait for it...) H.A. Rey!  A complete coincidence and I had never read this book before.  It was very cute, and toward the end, there is a man with a yellow hat (and outfit) with a monkey.  The monkey is unnamed (but my niece squealed, "It's George!" anyway) but the man is called Ted!!!  How clever of the movie people to keep the same name!  

So that made me curious!  I looked up H.A. and Margret Rey on Wikipedia and discovered even more delightful facts about them.  George started out as a character in Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys.  I had read this book previously, but forgot that George was in it.  They decided create a whole book for George after that book's success.  

But first they had to escape from the Nazis and so they successfully left Paris on BICYCLES!  These were amazing and fascinating people.  Do read more about them when you get a chance. 

So, if you are a fan of Curious George, check out these other books if you are not familiar with them already.   I'm looking forward to watching the movie in its entirety as well.  Will Ferrell does the voice for The Man with the Yellow Hat/Ted and Drew Barrymore is his love interest.  My sister thinks that her cartoon rendition looks like her.  Great movie that captures the spirit of a whole series of books and still has a plot of its own.  I love it when that happens!

All images from


Teaching with Picture Books said...

Hi Caitlyn, I follow you on Twitter, I believe you may follow me, too. Are you familiar with The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden? It's a fantastic primary source that details the story of the Reys escape from Paris on bicycles in addition to how the story of Curious George came to be. I saw you read some information about the background of the Reys on Wikipedia. If you aren't familiar with this book, you may want to read it. If you are interested, I did a brief review on my picture book blog at

Have a great day!

Dawn (@linkstoliteracy)

Caitlin said...

Hi Dawn!

Yes, I do follow you on Twitter. Thanks for the tip! I was not familiar with it, but that book looks terrific! I am so excited to read it! I would like to know more about the story because Wikipedia never gives you enough info! I do love it though :)

Thanks again for stopping by and telling me about that book! I look forward to reading more on your blog!