Curious George is one the most enduring, popular characters in children's literature and I say he must be stopped. That little simian is a bad influence and promotes destructive patterns of behavior. You know how a lot of mothers feel about Bratz dolls? I feel that way about George.
Don’t believe me? This is the plot of just about every single Curious George book:
Curious George is taken somewhere or shown something new. Almost immediately, George disobeys a rule, laid down by the Man in the Yellow Hat, and as a result, causes some major problem that screws things up for everyone involved. At the very last minute, George does something to fix the problem. He is then rewarded for solving the crisis that would never have happened if he had just listened in the first place. And everyone who was inconvenienced by George suddenly forgives him for no reason.
Think about it. Almost all of them are all like this—especially the original stories.
What are these lessons teaching our children? Don’t listen to mom or dad. It’s okay to wander off. Feel free to put strange things in your mouth. Don’t worry about it because doing these things will ultimately lead to accolades and presents. Curious George shows our kids a world without consequences.
Aside from the negative messages for kids, The Man in the Yellow Hat is a horrible role model for parents. It’s obvious the luster of living with an ill-behaved monkey has worn off long ago, because he just doesn’t seem to give a shit anymore. It’s either that or he’s stupid. Why else would he constantly leave George alone when every single time that he does, the monkey gets into copious amounts of trouble?
Of course, the Bean loves Curious George. L-o-v-e-s him. He asks to read those books over and over and over again. Those damned books. Those epic, 50 plus page books. By the time I figured all of this out, he was hooked. There is no way that I could now extract George from his world without suffering consequences.
That said, the extended world of Curious George isn’t all bad. Surprisingly in the video versions George’s blatant disrespect for authority is toned down. The movie is kind of charming and the PBS series is something I can actually sit down and watch with the Bean without wanting to stab my eyes out with a rusty grapefruit spoon. (Plus, who doesn’t love a good William H. Macy narration?)
So all of you parents out there, watch out for these books. It’s too late for me. My son is hooked on them, which means that there will be virtually no way to shield my daughter when she gets older.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. And don’t be too curious.