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Curious George

(Curious George Original Adventures)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  117,131 ratings  ·  1,054 reviews
The first adventure in this highly popular series tells how the little monkey Curious George, caught in the jungle and brought back to the city by a man in a yellow hat, can't help being interested in all the new things around him. Though well meaning, George's curiosity always gets him into trouble. Young readers can easily relate, and Rey's cheerful illustrations celebra ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published 1969 by Houghton Mifflin Co. (first published 1941)
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Cassandra Because he's always poking his nose into things that look interesting.

Community Reviews

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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  117,131 ratings  ·  1,054 reviews

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Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Book Review
4 of 5 stars to Curious George by H.A. Rey, a children's author, who wrote this series starting in 1941. Who didn't love Curious George when they were a child? Or even now as an adult? So many fun memories of this wonderful little monkey. In this first book, George comes home for the first time, and the infamous yellow coat becomes a hallmark. He's so innocent, yet such a magnet for bad things to happen. But aren't all monkeys? An adorable way to teach kids to ask questions, but o
Jason Koivu
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
* Read and reviewed by me and my niece Emma *

What is it about this monkey that so enthralls readers? This introductory story by Rey is not terribly memorable or particularly exciting, yet the kids are drawn to it, I absolutely love it and my niece - a first time reader/listener - was mesmerized.

For those who forget what happens in this first Curious George book, a poacher the Man With The Big Yellow Hat captures George in the wild, illegally keeps him in his city apartment, smokes a pipe with
Spencer Orey
Yikes this... has not aged well. I'm glad there are happier sequels and that the movie and TV shows gave it some much needed updates. There's some glimmer of heart in this first one but also a lot of bad bad things.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Where it all began with a curious monkey! A man travels to Africa to find a monkey for the big city zoo. He finds one, trapping George, and begins the journey back. From the early stages, it's curiosity that almost killed the monkey when he went overboard on a ship back to 'home'. Once in the big city, George discovers that sometimes being curious can be a little too much, especially when the fire department gets a call. A great beginning to a beloved series that Neo has come to love. Neo did qu ...more
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Another book placed on the shelf of childhood. How many times did I do things like Curious George that turned out to be (in hindsight) not the best possible choice? When I was a preteen all the boys in my neighborhood did some pretty DUMB things (the girls had more common sense) like 'sword fights' with tree branches, rock throwing fights, throwing kitchen knives at the fence, sling lucky we all were that no one got hurt (badly). Just like George we all had to learn that most importa ...more
Erik Graff
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: very little kids maybe
Recommended to Erik by: Anne-Lise Graff
Shelves: literature
Here's a book I hadn't thought about for several decades, recently brought to my attention by Jack, a three-year-old friend who met me at his door, book in hand, wanting to be read to. "Ah! Curious George," I said, immediately remembering and wanting very much to be reminded of the times it had been read to me in early childhood.

As it happens, the book is dreadful by any adult, twenty-first century standards. The story is horrific for what it accepts: a jungle monkey is tricked by a white man, k
Steve Holden
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book I loved as a child that I hadn't read in a long time! It's an iconic character, and brings up some valuable topics for children. There were a number of books in the series, but the first one was on point, and still a favorite to have (parents and teachers) today.
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
My 5 yr old is really loving Curious George books right now. And for all the Curious George books out there, they actually have pretty good story lines. What I mean is, sometimes when a character has been commercialized, the books change in tone. I'm guessing these were written before the T.V. show. I did a little reading on Rey and it turns out they came up with Curious George many years ago, while escaping Nazi's in Paris. After their death, Curious George was taken over by the Curious George ...more
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: baby-h-books
Listen, George: first things first, I love your work. I've listened to all of your books. Your antics are delightful, you're cute as a button, and I aspire to get up to as much mischief as you do someday. But can we talk about your "friend"--the Man in the Yellow Hat? Lest we forget, all of your adventures, delightful as they may be, started when the Man KIDNAPPED YOU FROM YOUR HOME AND TOOK YOU AWAY FROM EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING YOU HAD EVER KNOWN. I just find it strange that you guys are buds n ...more
According to old family tales, I requested that my parents read this one to me so many times that they resorted to accidentally on-purpose "misplacing" it for a while--just long enough to get a chance to read something else to me. :D That said, as an adult, I struggle with rating this classic. As a kid, I loved all the craziness George gets into and how the man in the yellow hat loves him regardless. Now, I find myself cringing at so many things-George being stuffed into a bag and taken from his ...more
Mar 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I will never understand why this book and its progeny have been so well loved for over seventy years. (H.A. and Margaret Rey apparently escaped Nazi-occupied France on homemade bicycles with the manuscript for Curious George.)

The Man with the Yellow Hat travels to Africa, entices George with his hat, catches him, "pop[s] him into a bag," and ultimately takes him to live in a zoo. Despite capturing him from the wild to take him to a zoo, the Man with the Yellow Hat is referred to as George's "fr
Nov 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Totally awesome book. There's like a monkey and stuff. And there's like a dude with a yellow hat. The book's like yellow too. I reminds me of cheese. Sweet, sweet cheese.The monkey is like curious and stuff. His name's like George. He's so awesome.
Mariah Roze
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this a super long time ago and really liked it :)
Jesse Summers
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
George, who is happily living "in Africa," is captured by a man in his eponymous yellow hat to take him to a zoo. This is all in the first few pages and is a strange basis for their famous friendship--is friendship what Stockholm syndrome creates?--in the subsequent books. George also smokes, is imprisoned for playing with the phone, and ends the book smiling in the zoo. What were parents like that this became a popular children's book?
Mary Soderstrom
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Reading and the love of books can't encouraged too soon. The Curious George books by H.A. and Margaret Rey were great favourites of our kids and Jeanne has delighted in them ever since Elin brought a jumbo book containing six tales back from a trip to New York last fall. She went looking for our old copies shortly thereafter so ever since Jeanne's been read the old ones--now in tatters--when she visits here.

The stories are still charming, but one of the things that goes over Jeanne's head is the

I loved Curious George as a kid. I cannot remember the exact date I read it since it was a long time ago. But I recently picked up an Anniversary edition from my local Target. I did re-read it for old times sake. I enjoy the story but was and am still not a fan of the cute little monkey smoking a pipe. I understand that during the time frame that this book was published, during that generation, it was part of that era and was to be expected. But I didn't and still don't like that part of the bo
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teaching
This is the classic story of George the monkey, heartlessly ripped from his jungle home and kidnapped to a foreign land, where he's forced to figure out his way when the Man in the Yellow Hat leaves him by himself. After wreaking havoc on the city for an entire day, George is arrested and sent to prison (the zoo).
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was longer than I remembered, which I liked for my 4-year-olds' increased attention spans - longer than many other picture books but shorter than a chapter book. Fun details in the illustrations and while still fairly simple, introduces some richer vocabulary words.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
I hate Curious George so much, I can't even tell you. Admittedly, I am not the target audience and the target audience seems to like it just fine. I was trying to figure out the appeal -- maybe the fun of watching someone else get in trouble? or maybe it has the kind of physical comedy that appeals to four year olds (falling into things, getting messy, etc.)? I was hoping to avoid the gazillion George books, but -- curse you, preschool! -- he saw a video at school and came home super keen on Geo ...more
Octavia Cade
Aug 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
What an awful little book - almost as bad as that horrifying story, The Giving Tree. Poor wee George is taken by a poacher, essentially - oh, he's not called a poacher, he's too high-class for that, but it's essentially the same thing. George is destined for the zoo, and on the way he nearly drowns, is put in jail, hangs from balloons at risk of a falling death, and all this is presented as Silly George, What Fun!

Never mind, Georgie. Planet of the Apes is coming and then you'll get yours.
May 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids-preschool
We are avid Curious George fans at our house. But... this first book of the series was a disappointment when we checked it out from the library.

(If you haven't seen it, check out the Curious George television show on PBS. So cool. The narration, jazz music background and teaching about math/ science is captivating).

This book is a study in cultural change! First, George is captured and removed from his natural habitat in Africa by the man with the yellow hat. George smokes a pipe. George is put
Nancy Kotkin
This picture book was a favorite of mine as a child, so I feel disloyal giving it a bad review, but it really does not stand up to the test of time, despite being a children's classic for several generations. I just can't get behind the fact that the man in the big yellow hat literally steals George from the jungles of Africa (in a sack no less!), drags him overseas on a boat, and places the monkey in a zoo, all the while acting like he is doing poor George a favor. Let me say that I am very pro ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: tutoring-books
This book is the origins of Curious George.

He was 'taken' from Africa (more like captured) by the yellow haired man. As an adult, we all know about animal trafficking and how disturbing it can be, but my student is too young to know about things like that.

The story then goes on to change settings with the boat ride and then arriving at the city. Curious George being Curious proceeds to cause trouble and this time he does indeed get punishment.

He ends up in jail. Yeah. I know. Kind of harsh but
Martha b
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
a staple in my house my daughter's favorite.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
Somebody has Stockholm syndrome.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is George.
He lived in Africa.
He was a good little monkey and always very curious.

There is a boy called Mike with this ability to retain and recall word-for-word every piece of material he has read since kindergarten: be it novels, newspapers, credit cards or even textbooks. So what does he choose to do with this gift? Go to bars and pick up chicks, with his friend/wingman Trevor, who breaks the ice with women, by claiming his friend Mike can recite verbatim the contents of any popular b
An early reading book, George is that curious child who mimics and tries out anything that looks interesting or engaging. To him the adult world is puzzling yet deeply interesting and his play amongst it gets him into much trouble. I really liked the illustrations throughout and can see how much of the way the writing has been set as well as framing and colour would have inspired those who came after (this book was published in 1941). As with Clever Bill much yellow is used throughout and I wond ...more
Laura Scribner
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m unsure of the morality of taking credit for having read this book now, since it is a children’s book... but curious George has been on of the few things I’ve actually read here recently!

Gotta say, I didn’t remember the story starting off with George being stolen from the wild, then winding up in jail, then being happy to go to some random zoo, but that’s children’s books for you!

Sophie is being informed that we don’t just randomly steal monkeys from the forest, for reference.
Megan Billick
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Curious George was always a favorite of mine as a child, and it still is today. I love how relatable he is to children, as sometimes he gets himself into trouble and is mischievous and he just can't seem to help it! Sometimes that just happens to kids, they don't mean to, trouble just finds them! ;)
Shannon Maddox
Curious George was one of the first books I read as a child. The story and illustrations are just as great as I remembered.
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Hans Augusto Rey was born on September 16, 1898, in Hamburg, Germany. He grew up there near the world-famous Hagenbeck Zoo, and developed a lifelong love for animals and drawing. Margarete Elisabeth Waldstein (who would be known to most of the world as Margret Rey) was also born in Hamburg on May 16, 1906. The two met briefly when Margret was a young girl, before she left Hamburg to study art. The ...more

Other books in the series

Curious George Original Adventures (9 books)
  • Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys
  • Curious George Takes a Job
  • Curious George Rides a Bike
  • Curious George Gets a Medal
  • Curious George Flies a Kite
  • Curious George Learns the Alphabet
  • Curious George Goes to the Hospital
  • The Complete Adventures of Curious George