August 30, 2013

Books & Facts | How Curious George Escaped

Did you ever read Curious George when you were a kid or have you ever read it to your children? Ever wonder why George is so curious, getting into trouble, running around and narrowly escaping mishap? It's because he's running from the Nazis! Seriously, Curious George could have been wiped from existence thanks to the Nazis invading France. But just before the invasion, husband and wife authors Hans and Margret Reys built themselves some bicycles and made their escape carrying very few items with them, but among those items were the manuscript pages about a monkey named Fifi, later renamed George.

Hans and Margret road their bikes to to the Spanish border where they sold them for train tickets to Portugal. They were stopped a couple times along the way because of their German accents, but upon hearing they were children's book authors and seeing the manuscripts, they were let by. From Portugal, they were able to take a ship to Brazil from which they were finally able to make their way to New York.

In New York, Hans and Margret presented their story to Houghton Mifflin for publication. The editor however didn't think having a boy monkey named Fifi would go over well though, and so the name was changed to George. In Britain however, the current monarch was King George the VI. Thinking it an insult to their king to have a monkey with the same name, Fifi's name was again changed to Zozo.

To read more about the story, read my source articles:
Huffington Post
Houghton Mifflin

Or read the biography The Journey That Saved Curious George

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