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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book Review: The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden

The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden
Buy The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden

The Journey That Saved Curious George
by Louise Borden

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN-10: 0-547-41746-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-547-41746-2
Publication Date: August, 2010
List Price: $8.99

Review: It all began with a little monkey - a monkey that brought hope and laughter - a monkey named George, Curious George. It would be a difficult task to find a child or adult who has never been touched by the antics of the curious monkey. George does everything we wish we could do, but are afraid to try! But more remarkable than George is the story of his creators, Margret and H.A. Rey, in The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden.

The Journey That Saved Curious George begins in 1906 when Hans Augusto Reyersbach was a boy growing up in Germany. From a very young age, Hans knew he had a special love for the zoo and for art. Eight years behind Hans, Margarete Waldstein was growing up in Hamburg, Germany with a dream of studying art. After serving in the German army in WWI, Hans left Hamburg for Brazil, where he found "Monkeys and more monkeys!" Nine years later, Margarete, a German Jew, left Germany as well and headed to Brazil. It was in Rio de Janeiro where she found a family friend, Hans and eventually she married him, they became Brazilian citizens, and honeymooned in France. It was in Paris where Margret and Hans developed the stories about a monkey named Fifi. But, as the Rey's were becoming more settled and dedicated to their children's books, the world fell apart, leaving the two artists on the run as they escaped Paris during the German invasion. Their tale is an inspiring tale, one that will bring hope and a sense of dedication to everyone who hears it.

The Journey That Saved Curious George is a phenomenal book. Written in the same fashion as all the Curious George books, the author creates the sense that they Rey's were the personified Curious George. Their adventure, though entirely factual, takes on a fantastic tone as it is told through prose. The illustrations by Allan Drummond are also modeled after the Curious George books, which add to the intrigue. Also, included in the test are copies of original documents written and signed by the Rey's. Margret and Hans Rey were truly remarkable people, and it has taken way to long for their story to be told. Everyone who has ever been touched by that cute little monkey and the man with the yellow hat must learn of the story of two people who left Paris on two shoddy bikes with minimal belongings, barely any money, and their manuscripts that told the story of a curious monkey named Fifi.

Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).

We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of The Journey That Saved Curious George for this review.

Have you read The Journey That Saved Curious George? How would you rate it?

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