Learning From a Monkey: Curious George Picture Books

Curious George is the star of a vast series of successful children's books originally written and illustrated by husband and wife team H.A. and Margret Rey. The series has found enduring popularity throughout more than seventy years as children continue to relate to the monkey's curiosity and learn from his mistakes.

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Curious George HA and Margret Rey

About the Series

The Reys wrote seven Curious George books, beginning with the eponymous origin story in 1941. In that first book, George is living in an African jungle when he's captured by the Man with the Yellow Hat. While on a ship to America, George has his first adventures, which include accidentally falling overboard while imitating birds. Later in the story, George inadvertently summons firefighters, gets thrown in jail and nearly floats away while clutching a bundle of helium-filled balloons. Ultimately, the Man in the Yellow Hat rescues George.

In the other Curious George stories by the Reys, George learns to ride a bike, fly a kite and pilot a spaceship. Beyond the original books, an array of new writers and artists are producing additional stories about Curious George. These stories follow George as he visits an aquarium, goes to school and plants a tree.

Lessons from a Curious Monkey

Your child can learn two lessons from most Curious George stories. First, the books are full of adventures covering events that many children face. They can learn about the world through George's eyes. This often includes visits to intimidating places, like the dentist, and educational destinations, like the library. Curious George books are likely to make your child less apprehensive about the potentially scary places George visits and excited to see others.

Second, Curious George is always highly inquisitive, much like the young children who enjoy his stories. His curiosity often gets him into trouble. For example, in Curious George Goes to a Chocolate Factory, his interest in the chocolate production machine leads him to accidentally speed up the conveyor belt, sending chocolates flying down the line. In that story, he must help the workers box the chocolates without letting them fall on the floor.

This curiosity teaches a valuable lesson about following instructions and listening to adults. George is regularly warned about potential dangers by the Man in the Yellow Hat or other adult characters. When he fails to heed their warnings, he finds himself in perilous situations. In the chocolate factory story, George is instructed to stay with the tour group and not wander on the factory floor. From this story and others, your child can learn how ignoring your parents can lead to chaos and danger.

Curious George Online

Learning with Curious George doesn't end with books. The publishers of George's stories, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, maintain a website full of interactive fun for your child. These include online games, activities you can print out and information about additional Curious George events. The games and activities are full of fun ways to learn with George. They include counting games, language skills development and science exploration.

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