Monday, March 29, 2010

"Curious George Saves the Day"

In the last few days, both the New York Times and NPR have had features about the new Curious George exhibition at NYC's Jewish Museum.

Originally from Germany, Margret and H.A. Rey were Jews living in Paris shortly before the Nazi occupation of the city in 1940. Mere days before the Nazis arrived, the couple rode out of Paris on homemade bicycles with their sketches and stories. The journey by bike, train, and boat eventually brought them to New York, where they were able to publish their picture books about George and his friends.

Both NPR's "On Point" podcast and Edward Rothstein's article about the exhibition give extensive information about the Reys' lives and work. The exhibit includes photographs, personal papers, journals, and -- most exciting -- original sketches and watercolors by H.A. While Curious George may not have, as receiver John joked during the radio show this morning, single-handedly defeated Hitler, Rothstein does praise the subversive nature of such an innocently disobedient character in an era and society where absolute compliance to the Nazi regime was expected. Also check out the NYT's slideshow.

If you'd like to learn more, we highly recommend Louise Borden's excellent nonfiction picture book The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey, which you can pick up right here at the store lovingly designed by Margret herself. :)

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