Curious George Goes to the Hospital
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|Author||H. A. Rey
|Preceded by||Curious George Learns the Alphabet|
Curious George Goes to the Hospital is a children's book written and illustrated by Margret Rey and H. A. Rey and published by Houghton Mifflin in 1966. It is the seventh and final book in the original Curious George series, and tells the story of George's experiences in a hospital after swallowing a jigsaw puzzle piece. The book was written to ease the way for hospital-bound children.
George wakes up one day to find a box on the table. Upon opening it, he pulls out a colorful jigsaw puzzle piece, in which he thinks it is a piece of candy and reluctantly eats the puzzle piece. Later, The Man with the Yellow Hat comes home and sees that George opened the puzzle and they both work on it. Unfortunately, one piece is missing, and they try to find it, but give up for the night and head to bed. The next morning, George is too sick to eat breakfast, so The Man calls a doctor who, upon examining him, recommends he go to the hospital.
Upon arrival at the hospital, they run into a mother and her young daughter, Betsy, who is frowning because this is her first time in a hospital and she is scared. A nurse named Carol takes George and The Man back, gives George a barium drink, then puts him on the x-ray table. The x-rays come back showing the puzzle piece still in George's stomach, undigested. George is then admitted to the hospital overnight, and is taken to the children's ward, where he is given a shot to put him to sleep and is wheeled into surgery.
When he wakes up, he is groggy and isn't even interested in the good news that the piece is out of him or of the book The Man has, and goes back to sleep.
When George is all better the next morning, he has some ice cream, and is taken to the play room, where several children, including a still-frowning Betsy, are. George meets another kid in a wheelchair with a broken leg who is going to try to walk later with his cast still on. At this point, George starts doing things that end up starting to break Betsy out of her funk. First, using all four limbs, he puts on a puppet show for the kids, which gets her to smile a bit. Next, he finds a record player, stands on the turntable part, turns it on, and spins around faster and faster, until he is flung off and luckily lands on a large pillow to cushion his landing. The kids laugh at it, and Betsy smiles again, until the nurse picks him up and takes him to a spot to nap it off.
When he wakes up, all the kids and the nurse are diverted from him as the boy with the broken leg tries to walk. Noticing the wheelchair empty, George hops into it and wheels it out of the room. By the time the nurse notices it gone, George is already around the corner and heading down a steep ramp to the first floor right at a couple of attendants pushing food carts. George luckily jumps off the wheelchair before it slams into the carts, spilling food all over the place and damaging the dishes and wheelchair. All the kids come out to see this happen, and the first one to laugh at it is Betsy. This gets the rest of the kids laughing, and even all of the adults. The only one that doesn't laugh is George. In fact, he starts crying when he realizes what he had done. Betsy sees this, and runs down the ramp to console George, and tells him this is what finally made her smile and be happy. The adults just agree to clean up the mess and be done with it, and The Man arrives to take him home. As they are about to leave, the nurse runs out with a little present for George to take home. Upon arrival home, George opens it and finds it to be the puzzle piece he swallowed, which they triumphantly put where it belongs to complete the picture.
- Rey 2001, unpaged Introduction