Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Journey That Saved Curious George: Young Readers Edition of The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey by Louise Borden

I grew up loving Curious George and all of the mischief this endearing little monkey got himself into. My son grew up loving the antics of Curious George and now my granddaughter is crazy in love with George! Three generations of affection for the timeless and comical stories written and illustrated by H.A. and Margret Rey. That's why I was drawn to The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey.

Did you know that in the original draft for the story, the monkey was named Fifi? Curious Fifi?? It's hard to imagine the little monkey that we all know and love with any other name than Curious George! Did you know that the Reys fled from Paris on bicycles before Hitler took power? Read all about the fascinating paths that the Reys took to get to New York so that they could write, illustrate, and publish the beloved Curious George books. The Reys originated in Germany, left for Brazil before Hitler took power of Germany, and then lived in France for four years before they fled from Paris on bicycles in June of 1940. They took their sketches and story ideas with them on their bicycles and narrowly missed the Nazi occupation of Paris by just a few days. The Reys then took a train to the south of France, Spain, Portugal, and eventually a ship to America and safety. 

H.A. and Margret Rey
H.A. kept detailed records in a pocket calendar of places they traveled to, their expenses and notes of what they were working on. The book is filled with visuals such as maps, travel journals, diaries, photographs, etc., which bring the story to life. 

This Young Readers version of The Journey that Saved Curious George contains an interview with the author, Louise Borden and activities in the back of the book perfect for young readers such as making a timeline, a map, and some detective work where they can feel like they are assisting in the research of the book.
Beautiful watercolor illustrations throughout the book by Allan Drummond

2016 is the 75th Anniversary of Curious George! Celebrate by checking out some Curious George books and DVDs from the large collection at The Virginia Beach Public Library. 

Reviewed by Joan L.

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