Curious George is a little monkey who gets into all sorts of trouble. His friend and caretaker, the man in the yellow hat, tries to take George along to everything and constantly warns him not to get into things or get too curious about his surroundings. Invariably, something catches George’s eye and he’s whisked away on all sorts of adventures.
In Curious George Makes Pancakes, George and the man in the yellow hat are off to a pancake breakfast and carnival to benefit charity. The man in the yellow hat has to leave George’s side for a moment, and that’s long enough for little George to find the person making pancakes and start throwing blueberries on them. Eventually, George ends up being the only one making pancakes and they’re selling left and right! When the pancake man comes back, George runs off and finds his way to another part of the carnival where he also quickly has a long line of people.
The man in the yellow hat finds George after he’s had all sorts of fun and helped make pancakes. The man organizing the benefit asks George if he’ll give the check of the earnings to the director of the children’s hospital because he was so much help.
First off, I’ve always loved Curious George. I remember when I was little, the big attraction for me was that Curious George acted just like me – he was always getting into mischief when he was just curious! Now my three-year-old son loves George for similar reasons, and I can now appreciate even more just how much George is like a three-year-old child himself.
For anyone who has never read the Curious George books, the illustrations are somewhat simplistic but always have pretty good contrasts. Additionally, in this book the author made good use out of series pictures to show the action. As long as my son can point out where George is on every page, he’s happy – and he loves being told what George is doing in each picture so that he can repeat it later.
One thing that I really liked about this story, and that holds true for most Curious George stories, is that George generally just wants to help when he gets into mischief. In this story his motive at first is to put blueberries on the pancakes because they look like they need blueberries. Thereafter, George’s motive is to help make the pancakes because the pancake-making man has way too much to do.
The charity aspect is another good addition to the story. In our family we do a number of charitable, community service, and environmentally-geared activities. Having these kinds of activities in books shows our son that other people do these things too, and when he gets a bit older it’s a good way to start up a conversation about WHY we do these things. For now, he’s happy as a clam to be able to help pick up litter and throw the recycling into the appropriate bins.
Overall, I’m a big fan of the Curious George series and this is one of my favorite of the Curious George books. These books are great for presenting a character that young children can connect with (because he’s just like them!) and that shows them ways in which they can help.