It's impossible to understate the importance of this book in my life. I first read it when I was seven. Within a few months *I* would be going to the hospital for an emergency tonsilectomy. During my recovery, George was there with me in the hospital room the entire time. I read the pages until I had every nuance of the illustrations memorized. This book comforted me and, for one of the first times, broadened me beyond my grade-school world. There were others out there who had gone through similar experiences as I had. I was no longer alone. If a monkey could survive the hospital, then so could I.
One other thing to note: This book gave me a new phobia of jigsaw puzzles. Never again would I put a piece to my mouth while I was contemplating where it should go in the puzzle. *Shudder*