Margret Rey, the co-author and co-illustrator (with her husband Hans A. Rey) of the Curious George books, was born on this day in 1906. The Reys, who were Jews, lived and worked in Paris before World War II. When the Nazis were about to take the city, the Reys fled on bicycles built by Hans, taking with them the manuscript and illustrations for Curious George. They made it to Spain and from there to New York by way of Lisbon, remaining in the U.S. until their deaths. (Hans died in 1977, Margret in 1996.)
|Margret and H. A. Rey|
Had the Reys hesitated in their flight from Paris, the world of children’s literature would have been poorer. Houghton Mifflin published Curious George in 1941, and it was a resounding success. The Reys wrote and illustrated seven Curious George stories in all. The books remain beloved by children to this day, and even inspired two television series, one in the 1980s and a PBS series in 2006, as well as an animated film and a video game (both 2006.)
You can read my review of Curious George here.
Sources: Wikipedia and IMDB.com.