September 17, 2005

THEY ALWAYS SEEMED TOO PLEASANT TO BE FRENCH:

A curious tale of George's creators (Mark Feeney, September 17, 2005, Boston Globe)

Mayor Thomas Menino has proclaimed today Curious George Day in Boston. This is one thing Maura Hennigan would likely agree with him on. What's there not to like? Curious George is the Johnny Damon of children's literature: fun-loving, hairy, always on the go.

The reason for the proclamation is that today is the 64th birthday of everyone's favorite mischievous monkey. The event will be celebrated from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. More specifically, it will be celebrated in the Rey Children's Room, which is named in honor of Margret and H.A. Rey, Curious George's creators. George and his friend The Man in the Yellow Hat will be on hand, as will chef Ming Tsai (who'll be offering up birthday cake at 2:30 p.m.) and children's book author Louise Borden. Borden's latest book is ''The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey." It chronicles how the Reys fled the Nazi invasion of France in 1940, and how they came to the United States.

The Reys wrote and illustrated seven Curious George books, and another 20 have been done by other hands. Few characters can match George for popularity. His books have sold 30 million copies and been translated into 16 languages. In February, a feature-length cartoon will be released, with Will Ferrell as the voice of The Man in the Yellow Hat. And PBS plans to start broadcasting a Curious George cartoon series in fall 2006.

''Everyone knows who Curious George is and loves the character," Borden said Thursday over tea at the Lenox. ''Now I hope they'll fall in love with Margret and H.A. Rey and find out who they were, too."

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 17, 2005 8:19 AM
Comments

Good thing for the writer that Johnny Damon's a white guy. Johnny could be a first cousin to ol' George though.

Posted by: JimBobElrod at September 17, 2005 9:29 AM

I always thought that referring to the guy as the "man in the yellow hat" was somehow creepy. Like the cigarrette smoking man or something.

Posted by: RC at September 17, 2005 10:19 AM

Good article in the NYTimes

Ms. Borden is a Buckeye. She went to Denison U. (just east of Columbus) and lives in suburban Cincinnati.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 5:26 PM
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