cover image Furious George Goes Bananas: A Primate Parody

Furious George Goes Bananas: A Primate Parody

Michael Rex, Putnam, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25433-8

Rex, creator of the Margaret Wise Brown parodies The Runaway Mummy and Goodnight Goon, takes on the Rey franchise in this escapade. His protagonist’s resemblance to Curious George is only in the details, since Furious George is a huge purple gorilla captured by an opportunist in a pith helmet. The “man in the funny hat,” a craven alter ego to Rey’s fatherly Man in the Yellow Hat, does not care for his captive. He peddles George to a zoo, construction site, Broadway show, and lab, growing richer by the sale. In a running gag that takes aim at the Rey books, he repeatedly refers to Furious George as a monkey, something each buyer attempts to correct. “[H]e ain’t a monkey, he’s an ape,” notes the construction foreman. “A monkey got a tail.” (Like Curious George, Furious doesn’t have one.) Enraged at being locked up, having to lay bricks, etc., Furious George “goes bananas” several times, though Rex makes it clear he’s not destructive by nature—he just wants to get home, which he eventually accomplishes. Rex preserves Rey’s comic-strip palette and earnest tone, while humorously delivering a message about avarice. Ages 5–8. (May)