Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys by H.A. Rey


Disappointing, Forgetful, and Troubled book.

It is not official whether or not I will begin the Curious George series and based on my research this book is the first book to feature George and I have to say for anyone who loves Curious George, please skip this book. I give you permission. The writing was all over the place, raised questions that were left unanswered and sugar coated the tragedy of how we hunt and capture animals to be sold to Zoos across the world.

We meet Cecily Giraffe who had the perfect life living in the Jungle, with family and friends to hang around and be loved until they were capture and sent to the Zoo. Now she is all by herself with no one to play with or for that matter someone to love. Then we meet these 9 monkeys who are sad because humans have destroyed their natural habitat and now they can't find a new place to call home so they begin their journey for a better place and along the way they meet Cecily and immediately all of their sadness is over because they live with each other as one big happy family. The author forgot one small detail... George gets captured by the man with the big yellow hat and goes off to live in a Zoo separated from his family never to see them again (Correct me if I am wrong? I hope I am wrong).

I know this book is meant for children but this should never have been written because then you have to address to a child how come George left his family to go live with a stranger in a faraway land. Hopefully this was not the authors intention because his story about how he fled from France to get away from the Nazis is remarkable and courageous but this book made the whole story of Curious George as an allegory for Slavery. I guarantee you if I had read this when this was published as a child I wouldn't have any qualms about it but now thanks to the Internet and the documentaries that goes into details on how we kill and capture animals makes this story outdated in terms of our ignorance.

I have no issues with Zoos, considering those that take in animals that are endangered or need medical treatment to survive but I would want my kids to be educated that animals should not be in a cage. The same goes to aquariums ever since I saw the Oscar-winning documentary, The Cove, my perception have changed when it comes to the captivity of animals. Probably this is the reason why I haven't encountered children books like Curious George in the 21st century because then you have to explain how it is perfectly fine for an animal to get captured by humans and then comes to love its captor and they become friends. Now when it comes to the Curious George series I will try my hardest to pretend that I never encountered this book. Sorry for my rant.

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