A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Positive Role Models
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."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Curious George smokes a pipe.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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