Why is George so curious? And what kind of monkey is he anyway?

January 3, 2012

Parents of toddlers might find themselves pondering the deeper mysteries of children’s books after reading a favorite story night after night seventeen bedtimes in a row.  They want to get beyond the obvious plot and characters.  Questions come to mind: Why is George curious? Are monkeys really that curious? What kind of monkey is he? Are some monkeys more curious than others? Now, thanks to authors Alexandra Horowitz and her husband Ammon Shea, some of these questions can be addressed. In this enlightening article in the January 1st  New York Times “Sunday Review” section, Horowitz and Shea present the cold, hard facts of scientific research to answer some of the knottier questions. They wisely stopped short of delving into too many of them in the interest of preserving the magic of childhood, but it is comforting to know that should I be blessed with grandchildren in the future, and should my mind wander during the umpteenth reading of, say, The Little Engine that Could, there is a good chance I’d be able to find out if that little engine really could have pulled it off.

Barbara L.

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