I haven't figured this out yet . . .
We got this collection of Curious George stories the other day and I’d like to say a few words about that mischievous monkey.
Firstly, if you haven’t read the original Curious George, it’s a little surprising. I’d always wondered why Curious George hung out with the man with the yellow hat, and then I found out; the man with the yellow hat stole George out of the jungle!
If memory serves me correctly, George at some point also smokes a cigar and gets into some pretty naughty mischief, as he does in many of the older stories. Not what you’d think of as kids’ stories.
The new stories are a little more tame, but the formula is basically the same: The man with the yellow hat foolishly leaves George on his own, George gets curious about something and causes a small disaster and big trouble for others, but it’s all ok in the end because George coincidentally solves a problem with the trouble he causes. I sometimes question the examples this provides to my impressionable children, but despite George’s naughty behavior, I look to the man with the yellow hat as the problem in these stories.
First of all, he stole George out of his home. Shame on him there. Second, why does he continue to keep George as a pet/surrogate child instead of a zoo or releasing him back into the wild? Thirdly, why oh why oh why, does he habitually leave George alone while he, “gets the tickets,” or, “speaks to someone,” when he knows darn well that George is undoubtedly going to get into mischief? George the monkey is apparently more capable of learning than the adult nincompoop in charge of his care.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Curious George. He’s a classic for a reason. The stories are entertaining, the illustrations are engaging, and there’s always some lesson to be learned. But sometimes I wish the man with the yellow hat would learn to keep a better eye on that mischievous monkey.