Curious George

Book review by
Mary Dixon Weidler, Common Sense Media
Curious George Book Poster Image
Michievous monkey's antics will have kids laughing.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Positive Role Models & Representations

The man in the yellow hat takes childlike George under his wing, but with the goal of throwing him into a zoo where his antics will essentially be controlled. Despite the man's good intentions, his poor supervision leads to George getting arrested, escaping from jail, smoking a pipe, causing traffic jams, etc. George emulates a child's curiosity but on a much larger, more exaggerated scale.

Violence & Scariness

George is captured and taken away from his home, falls overboard and needs to be rescued, and spends some time in prison until he finds an opportunity to escape. Before being thrown into prison, the firefighters who responded to George's false alarm tell the monkey, "We will have to shut you up where you can't do any more harm."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Curious George is the first book in a series that's been popular for generations and has spawned an animated TV show and apps. George's antics will have kids laughing. The writing is simple and direct, and the art is charming in this adventure tale, first published in 1941. Some kids may be a little troubled by George's sad expression when he's whisked away from his jungle home -- as well as when he lands in jail for accidentally calling the fire department. Parents will want to reassure them that they won't get locked up for minor infractions.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymrsLiz December 8, 2020

Allegory in favor of slavery.

A white man goes and takes a brown sentient being from Africa, brings him to America, and makes it assimilate and punishes it when is makes mistakes. Sound fami... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 and 7-year-old Written byJamie and James March 14, 2010

Not just for kids...

Every night we have a read aloud. We read two books, and if they're good, they can have a snack before bed. Twice a week one of us will have to read Curiou... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 12, 2011

Great book for kids. Your kids will laugh right out of their chair

Great starter book for children. When I was younger, I would laugh my head off when George got in trouble and all the mistakes he would make.
Teen, 13 years old Written byzhp7654 August 20, 2009

Very good book, George goes to prison though

It's a good book. I'm really into Curious George and Monk. I've read it a few times.

What's the story?

What happens when you take a curious monkey out of the jungle and set him loose in the big city? When the monkey is Curious George, the answer is chaos ... and a whole lot of fun! It's one adventure after another until he is arrives happily at the zoo.


Is it any good?

George's insatiable curiosity -- and children's understanding of what could go wrong -- make this book such a fun read. This classic from 1941 has been criticized in recent times for seeming to condone colonialism, as it portrays the white Man in the Yellow Hat taking George from the African jungle to the big city with intentions of "civilizing" him.

Author-illustrator H. A. Rey takes care to fill every other page with a colorful cartoon-like drawing. One outstanding picture shows an aerial view of George holding balloons and floating over the city. However, sometimes a series of thumbnail pictures appears on one page and can confuse young children.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how George keeps getting into trouble. Why do you think he does?

  • What other George stories have you read or seen on TV? Why do kids love him so much?

  • Why is George in such serious trouble after the fire-station incident? What would happen if you accidentally summoned a fire truck in real life?

Book details

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