Curious George Gets a Medal
|Author||H. A. Rey|
|Preceded by||Curious George Rides a Bike|
|Followed by||Curious George Flies a Kite|
Curious George Gets a Medal is a children's book written and illustrated by Margret Rey and H. A. Rey and published by Houghton Mifflin in 1957. It is the fourth book in the original Curious George series, and tells the story of George's flight into space. The story was published only weeks before the Soviets launched Sputnik II and Rey wanted to share his interests in space travel with children.
George makes a mess with ink and a fountain pen and tries to wash it away with the garden hose, but the room fills with water and he rushes to a nearby farm to get a portable pump. He is chased by the farmer but eludes him by hiding in a shirt on a clothes line then jumping in a truck headed for the museum. George inadvertently makes another mess in the science museum with a dinosaur exhibit (with animatronic dinosaurs). The two animatronic dinosaurs are a mother Apatosaurus and a baby Apatosaurus. George loved nuts. Suddenly, he was hungry because he missed lunch. A family came into the dinosaur hall and took a look at the dinosaur. Without noticing, the family (who saw George touching the dinosaur), they thought George was another stuffed animal (or animatronic animal).
After the family is gone, George was happy and he could pick the nuts. He climbed onto the mother dinosaur's head and started to pull. But the nuts did not come off, as George did not know that the nuts were not real either. Thinking they were real, he pulled harder and harder on the nuts, and then the tree began to sway. With a big crash, the tree fell down onto the mother dinosaur's head. The mother and baby dinosaurs fell down and down came George.
The guards of the museum become surprised and then they catch George as they find him underneath the fallen dinosaurs. The museum guards then report about the incident to the museum owner (Professor Wiseman). Then the museum owner, Professor Wiseman, is terribly angry; angry and surprised. He proceeds that the museum guards (after they have caught George) should "lock the naughty monkey right away and send him back to the zoo". The Man with the Yellow Hat stops the guards with a letter from the mailman to show them. The letter says that Professor Wiseman wants him to go up in a space ship and then bail out. George agrees and is given a tiny space suit. At the critical moment, it is uncertain whether George will jump or not, but he does and the experiment is a success. George is carried to Earth by a parachute and is awarded a medal.
- Rey 2001, unpaged Introduction
- Ham the Chimp, the chimpanzee who became the first higher primate in space in a similar mission in 1961.