University Libraries’ de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi will continue its celebration of Curious George’s 75th birthday with Curious George Day at the Hattiesburg Zoo Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The Hattiesburg community is invited to join George and friends at the Hattiesburg Zoo for train rides and photos with George, storytelling, animal encounters and birthday cake. Kids will be treated to one free train ride, courtesy of the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival.
The event will not only celebrate George’s birthday, but also the end of the Go George Go 75 mile challenge. Since Sept. 15, more than 150 individuals have been walking in an effort to complete 75 miles in eight weeks. The challenge not only celebrated Curious George, but also encouraged a healthy lifestyle. Each week, Go George Go participants received an email with exercise and nutrition information along with motivational tips. Awards will be given to the individual who completed the most miles, the oldest participant and the participant who lives the farthest away.
Curious George Day at the Hattiesburg Zoo is sponsored by the Hattiesburg Zoo and will include the following events:
10 a.m. Photos and Train Ride with George
10:30 a.m. Animal Encounter
11 a.m. Story Telling with a Hattiesburg Celebrity
11:30 a.m. Birthday Cake and Photos with George
Curious George is special to the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection. The Collection holds the literary estate of H.A. and Margret Rey, curators of Curious George. Dr. Lena de Grummond collected original materials from authors and illustrators of children’s books by sending handwritten letters to authors and illustrators, including H.A. and Margret Rey. Through her correspondence, she was able to develop relationships on a personal level and as a result, the correspondence often included hand drawn images, which made the letters even more personal.
The Reys created Curious George while living in France in early 1940. When the German army approached Paris in June 1940, the Reys fled on bicycles to Orleans where they boarded a train for the Spanish border. They moved on to New York City via Spain, Portugal, and Brazil between June and October. Settled in New York City, the Reys sealed a contract with Houghton Mifflin of Boston for four children's books in February 1941. They published Curious George later that year, although it would not become popular for another decade.
For more information on Curious George Day at the Hattiesburg Zoo, contact the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection 601.266.4349.