Monday, June 25, 2012


Originally created by Margret and H.A. Rey

Adapted from the Curious George film series

Edited by Margret Rey and Alan J. Shalleck

(Houghton Mifflin, 1989)

I don’t have many memories about the library at the elementary school I attended in Hamilton, Ontario.  I can recall the names of most of my classroom teachers, but not the librarian.  I know it was a place to be quiet, that the librarian had grey hair and that she liked to ramble on about award stickers on book covers.  (My friends and I associated those stickers with DANGER and POISON symbols.)

During my early school days, farting dogs did not get their literary due (doo?).  Neither did wimpy kids or principals in underpants.  There was a “rambunctious” monkey, however, that kept me amused:  Curious George.  The individual titles don’t stand out in my memory but, when it came time to line up and sign out a book, George and the man with the yellow hat were always a good bet.

When I entered teaching and began to amass my own personal library collection, I needed to ensure that my primary school primate had a place on the shelf.  Due to my love for icecream, a staple in every healthy diet, I purchased Curious George Goes to an Ice Cream Shop.

The story begins with George and the man finishing cleaning the house.  My dog ignores me whenever I tell him to fold the laundry, but George has worked hard sweeping with broom and dustpan.  Naturally, it is time for an ice cream reward!  Off they go to a new ice cream shop with many flavors, including monkey-approved banana.

Of course, the yellow hat guy has to run some errands.  To the doctor’s?  Don’t those tightly fastened high boots cut off circulation in his legs?  Perhaps the man is off to buy a new outfit or a baseball cap at the very least.

George is left in the shop, gazing at the many flavors and toppings as the owner busies himself with something in order to allow the monkey to have free rein (or reign).  Imagine the shenanigans! 

Sure, the story is simple, but you can’t go wrong with ice cream and a monkey.

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