THE REYS AND CURIOUS GEORGE
Writer and illustrator H.A. (Hans) Rey grew up near the famous Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg, Germany. He married writer Margret Waldstein in 1935 while living in Brazil selling bathtubs.
They moved to Paris, where H.A.'s first children's book, Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys,was published in 1939.
The manuscript for Curious George was one of five that the Reys brought with them when they fled Paris in 1940 — just hours ahead of Hitler's invading army — on bicycles they built from spare parts. They made it safely out of France to the United States (via ships, not on the bikes) and settled in Greenwich Village. Curious George was published in the United States in 1941.
You can learn more about the Reys and their famous little monkey at Houghton Mifflin's Curious George site. www.pbs.org/parents/curiousgeorge/program/reys.html