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The Journey That Saved Curious George

Last updated Friday, July 19, 2013

Author: Louise Borden
Illustrator: Allen Drummond
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 0618339248
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jun. 2013

Synopsis: In 1940, Hans and Margret Rey fled their Paris home as the German army advanced. They began their harrowing journey on bicycles, pedaling to Southern France with children’s book manuscripts among their few possessions.

Louise Borden combed primary resources, including Hans Rey’s pocket diaries, to tell this dramatic true story. Archival materials introduce readers to the world of Hans and Margret Rey while Allan Drummond dramatically and colorfully illustrates their wartime trek to a new home.

Follow the Rey’s amazing story in this unique large format book that resembles a travel journal and includes full-color illustrations, original photos, actual ticket stubs and more. A perfect book for Curious George fans of all ages.

Note to readers:
•  Have children follow the route on the inside front and back covers to locate countries mentioned in the book.
•  You may want to read Two Artists (part 1) through teaming up in Brazil, then skip some pages/ chapters to get to part 3.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Where are they on the cover? When did this story take place?
•  What do you know about Curious George?
•  What is a journey? Have you ever been on a journey?

•  Jewish - someone whose religion is Judaism, who is descended from Jewish people, or who participates in the culture surrounding Judaism
•  constellation - a group of stars that forms a particular shape in the sky and has been given a name: The constellation Ursa Major contains the stars of the Big Dipper.
•  Adolf Hitler - the leader of Germany from 1933 to 1945. He was the leader of the Nazi party and became a powerful dictator. Hitler started World War II by invading Poland and then invading many other European countries. He ordered the capture and extermination of Jewish people in many of these countries.
•  French Francs - currency used in France until 2002
•  valises - small pieces of hand luggage; suitcases

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Where did Hans and Margret get their ideas for Curious George and other children's books?
•  Which countries did they go to? Where did they live?
•  When did this story take place?
•  How did leaving Paris during WWII save Curious George?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a monkey face or mask using simple shapes for the eyes, ears, etc. http://www2.fiskars.com/Crafting/Projects/Cards/Holiday/Hand-Crafted-Valentines
•  Monkey origami http://www.ehow.com/how_4451228_make-origami-monkey.html#page=0 (step-by-step directions to be provided on Saturday)
•  Draw the Eiffel Tower (example on page 42)

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!