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THE JOURNEY THAT SAVED CURIOUS GEORGE by Louise Borden

THE JOURNEY THAT SAVED CURIOUS GEORGE

The True Wartime Escape of Margaret and H.A. Rey

By Louise Borden (Author) , Allan Drummond (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-33924-8
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Borden begins her spare, lyrical text with the Hamburg childhoods of her protagonists, Hans Augusto Reyersbach and Margarete Waldstein, who grew up to become H.A. and Margaret Rey. From Hamburg to Rio de Janeiro to prewar Paris, the narrative—stunningly embellished with period photographs, sketches, reproductions of Rey’s diary and letters to and from editors, and vignettes of their famous characters—takes the two talented Jewish artists to the brink of war. Their joy in each other, their love of animals (including a pet monkey) and their pleasure in the creation of their picture books shine through, painting a beautifully humane portrait of these lions of children’s literature. The Paris idyll cut short by the Nazi advance, the text becomes a catalog of the items needed to get the couple out of Paris, which they did on bicycle in a thrilling escape—with the precious manuscript that became Curious George. If the artifact seems all-too-patently created to join the George publishing machine, it is nevertheless a lovely work, Drummond’s movement-filled watercolors evoking but never imitating the work of his subjects. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)