Interesting article from John J. Miller in the Wall Street Journal. Curious George Goes Hollywood discusses the Curious George children’s books heading into their film adaption. Here are a few snippets:
In 25 years, the Reys wrote seven books about Curious George. It’s amazing they didn’t produce more, considering their great commercial success in the monkey business. According to Houghton-Mifflin, their publisher, world-wide sales have surpassed 30 million. (This figure includes several knockoff titles not written by the Reys.)
Margret insisted that the work was difficult. “Always we waited several years between books, until the pain was forgotten, like a mother in childbirth,” she said. Interestingly, the Reys (he died in 1977, she in 1996) had no kids of their own–a trait they share with several other phenomenally successful children’s authors, such as J.M. Barrie, Margaret Wise Brown, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis and Dr. Seuss.
[. . .]
Whatever the merits of the entire series, getting the first book into print was certainly an ordeal: In 1940, the Reys, who were German-born Jews living in Paris, fled on bikes as Hitler’s army marched down the Champs-Elysees. They carried only a few items with them, including an early Curious George manuscript. (Their refugee travels, which ultimately took them to New York by way of Spain, Portugal and Brazil, are recounted in a picture book published last September: “The Journey That Saved Curious George,” by Louise Borden.)