Curious George Saves the Day
La Rue

Detail from the cover of dummy for "La Rue: Découpages à colorer" (unpublished), Paris, c. 1938, by H.A. Rey. (Click for full image and caption info.)

Curious George is the most appealing, mischievous, endearing monkey ever to make it into children’s books. With his non-stop adventures and the Man in the Big Yellow Hat, he’s been a childhood staple for millions around the world.

But the story of his creators, husband and wife team H.A. and Margret Rey, rivals anything between the covers of a Curious George book. The story of their wartime escape from Nazis and Paris, with their illustrations of Curious George lashed to their bicycle.

This hour, On Point: the amazing story behind the story of Curious George.


Ellen Ruffin, curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi. When Margret Rey died in 1996, she left her entire literary collection to the university.

Claudia Nahson, curator at the Jewish Museum. The new exhibit, “Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey,” just opened there. It runs through August 1 and then moves to San Francisco.

Louise Borden, children’s author. She was the first person to tie together all the pieces of H.A. and Margret Rey’s story in her 2005 book “The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey,” for children ages 8 to 12.

Visit the Jewish Museum’s timeline of  Margret and H.A. Rey’s life story, which includes audio and video.

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