You’ve probably known Curious George all your life, right? You remember when he pranked the fire department, when he got a job, and maybe even when he learned his ABCs. You might even know that he had his share of real-life adventures as well. It’s such a cool story, in fact, that an exhibit has been touring the country, and is currently on display at the Laman Library in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Curious George was created by Hans and Margret Rey—two German-born Jewish artists who were living in Paris and writing an illustrated story about a curious monkey named Fifi, when the Germans occupied in 1940.
The Reys escaped on handmade bicycles, making sure to take their artwork with them. They made it to Spain, then Portugal, to Brazil, and eventually to New York City. Along the way, the Reys were detained; once, an official accused them of being German spies, but when he searched their papers and found sketches for a children’s book about a monkey, he let them go.
A year after the Reys arrived in NYC, Fifi became George, and the rest is history. Literally. On display in Arkansas til October 26.
Watch a cute video reading of the original Curious George book: