Curious George's First Day of School

Book review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Curious George's First Day of School Book Poster Image
George makes school silly and fun.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Preschoolers will see what kindergarten is like and observe the way George mixes paint to make new colors. Some editions of the book include a color wheel illustration/activity description that encourages kids to mix their own paints.

Positive Messages

It's OK to make a mess if you help clean it up.

Positive Role Models & Representations

George sets a good example with his positive excitement about attending school and his willingness to help the students and to clean up his own mess.

Violence & Scariness

George slips and falls in paint and soapy water, but he's not hurt.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Curious George's First Day of School is a later adventure of the adorable monkey, written after the deaths of authors H. A. Rey and Margret Rey and illustrated in the style of the original books. In this adventure, George is invited to be a helper in a kindergarten class on the first day of school. The book acknowledges that some children are nervous, but George models a positive attitude with his excitement to help in the classroom. He mixes paint colors to make new ones, and the book shows color combinations; for example, blue plus red equals purple. As in many George books, the little monkey makes a big mess, but he and the children solve the problem by cleaning it up together. This story could be nice for parents to prepare their children to attend a first day of preschool or kindergarten.

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What's the story?

George is excited because he's been invited to help in a kindergarten classroom on the first day of school. The man with the yellow hat takes George to meet the teacher, Mr. Apple, who introduces George to his students as a "special helper." George holds a book during story time, and children count the monkey's fingers and toes during math. He tosses balls to all the children on the playground during recess. After lunch, the students receive painting supplies, and George mixes colors (for example, red and blue make purple, and yellow and blue make green). Then, George gets a little too excited and makes a big mess with lots of paint colors. He tries to borrow a mop and bucket to clean it up. A custodian chases the monkey who took his mop, and George slips and falls into a puddle of paints and soapy water. George is sad after his fall, but all's well that ends well when the children pitch in to help him clean up the mess.

Is it any good?

As with other George books, CURIOUS GEORGE'S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL offers a lot of cute moments, laughs, and adorable pictures of a monkey interacting with young children. This installment is especially nice because it has some great learning opportunities about blending colors, and it can help parents prepare young children for the first day of school.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the first day of school. Were you/are you excited about your first day?

  • What would happen if a monkey visited your classroom?

  • With a grown-up's help, mix paint colors the way George does to make new colors. What happens when you mix red and yellow? Or red and white?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Picture books and school stories

Themes & Topics

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