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Curious George Goes to the Hospital-Best Medical Childhood Classic

Updated on May 21, 2014

On a thrift store jaunt I was thrilled to discover a childhood favorite, Curious George Goes to the Hospital. No stranger to hospitals myself I had just been discussing how I loved this adventure. We immediately bought the book and attempted to read it to my exuberant niece. While she tottered around screeching (she's only just discovered the joys of walking) my dad read the curious tale out loud.

Curious George was a childhood staple back in my day. The stories revolve around a very curious monkey named George and his keeper/friend, The Man in the Yellow Hat. I was never the hugest fan of the series but having experienced hospitals firsthand fell for Curious George's hospital adventures.

The book begins with a very curious George discovering a box of what he assumes is candy on the desk of The Man With the Yellow Hat. Like most youngsters,he tests the idea by eating a piece. Poor George had no idea it was a gift,a jigsaw puzzle which once assembled reveals a missing piece. The piece which ends up making George sick and so begins his time at the hospital.

I pointed out to my father how George could actually be on 'Monsters Inside Me' today. There is an episode where a kid swallows a button battery so a puzzle piece could actually fit the criteria. Back to the story, there are parts which make me yell, NOT TRUE. Like when George has to drink barium for an x-ray. Contrary to the story it does NOT taste sweet. From personal experience it takes horrible and if your technician is like mine was you will have taken it directly after lunch (bad idea) as you lose your lunch post-picture.

George does not have that problem but his x-ray does show a very suspicious looking item, the missing puzzle piece. How it was not broken down by stomach acid will always be a mystery. Since the piece will not disappear on its own George will need surgery. The pretty nice nurse (also not always the case) settles him in a ward where children are receiving anything from blood transfusions to, I kid you not, sitting in a cart. By him is a very sad looking girl named Betsy. No one ever goes into detail about what she has but the point is: it makes her sad.

Luckily for George his surgery goes well. They even manage to save the puzzle piece (again the details on that are a bit fuzzy). He gets to eat ice cream and in my words: has an excellent prognosis. Of course George is very curious so he starts entertaining the children on the ward. He even manages to make Betsy smile a bit.

Meanwhile, the hospital is preparing for a visit from the mayor. This also happens to be when George discovers the wonders of the kid with the busted leg go kart. Combine the two and something serious is sure to happen. Yet the final result will leave you smiling just like a certain previously sad someone. My favorite part comes at the very very end. You will have to read the book to know just what I mean.

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Read it, share it with someone special, or just laugh at the medical fun back in the day. Most of all this is one book which every child should get the chance to experience. The book is not long nor is it hard to read. Actually, it may just be right for a child learning to read something a bit more challenging than 'See Spot Run.'

On a final note, if you know a little one in the hospital or having to undergo a visit then this truly is a classic. Reading it puts a positive spin on things. True. The accuracy is obviously not Grey's Anatomy but it is a wonderful way to break up the hospital nerves with a side of humor.

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Curious George. The main character and always very curious.The Man in the Yellow Hat. That's what he goes by. He's the keeper/friend/foster parent(?) to George.The puzzle piece which started the whole story.I couldn't resist! I drank this stuff for imaging of my esophagus (long story) and it was not sweet. It was downright terrible.Take the advice! Grab a book and read to your kids. You will be teaching them something valuable for life.
Curious George. The main character and always very curious.
Curious George. The main character and always very curious.
The Man in the Yellow Hat. That's what he goes by. He's the keeper/friend/foster parent(?) to George.
The Man in the Yellow Hat. That's what he goes by. He's the keeper/friend/foster parent(?) to George.
The puzzle piece which started the whole story.
The puzzle piece which started the whole story.
I couldn't resist! I drank this stuff for imaging of my esophagus (long story) and it was not sweet. It was downright terrible.
I couldn't resist! I drank this stuff for imaging of my esophagus (long story) and it was not sweet. It was downright terrible.
Take the advice! Grab a book and read to your kids. You will be teaching them something valuable for life.
Take the advice! Grab a book and read to your kids. You will be teaching them something valuable for life.

My mother used to sit us down every night to read with us before bed. Because of her dedication I grew up learning to love reading. I still do. Nowadays I do my reading almost exclusively via e-reader but here are a few childhood favorites which must be enjoyed in all their paper glory. If I ever am lucky enough to have children these will definitely be on the reading list.

Harold and the Purple Crayon
Harold and the Purple Crayon

One of those childhood classics. Written in 1950, it has been enjoyed by kids everywhere for over 60 years and has many more to come!

Pippi in the South Seas (Pippi Longstocking)
Pippi in the South Seas (Pippi Longstocking)

I loved this book. I still do and am not ashamed to admit I do reread it every now and then. More for those of mid-grade school range, it is a classic tale with humor, adventure, and the awesomeness of Pippi!

Madeline 75th Anniversary Edition
Madeline 75th Anniversary Edition

'And the smallest one was Madeline.' Another classic written before many of us were born and still as enchanting as the day it came out. There is a movie but I have not seen it and never will. Why change the beauty of a good book experience?



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    • Deannamay LM profile image

      Deannamay LM 

      4 years ago

      Great books for my grandsons.

    • Deannamay LM profile image

      Deannamay LM 

      4 years ago

      God books for my grandsons. Will check them out

    • Stephanie36 profile image


      4 years ago from Canada

      This looks like a great book for kids. Although I have to admit that when I had barium, it was really sweet. But my mom recently told me that it's because they added a sweetener to it, so maybe it depends on your doctor?

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Never heard of this book, but I'd like to read it.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      Nice review!

    • ADDisaster profile image


      4 years ago

      Thanks for posting this- so many memories just came flooding back!

    • AlanJC321 profile image


      4 years ago

      Thank you for this beautiful lens. The book would make a great gift for my nieces.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      Congrats on LOTD! I remember Curious George. This series is such a delight for children.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      I love classic books like this. The Madeline adventure where she has to have her appendix out is great too. Thanks for sharing. And congrats on LOTD

    • samojonno profile image


      4 years ago

      My son watches this every day on nickjr in the UK it's brilliant

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      4 years ago

      I love Curious George! I agree that reading books like this to kids who are undergoing potentially scary situations is very helpful. Pinned to my children's books board, and linked to my own lens: about the Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss - which I read to my own little boy before he went to the dentist.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on LotD. Haven't read from these books, but I know kids love them.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Very funny :D

    • tracy-arizmendi profile image

      Tracy Arizmendi 

      4 years ago from Northern Virginia

      Congratulations on LoTD! Curious George was so popular when I was a child too. I think his character is timeless, and kids still enjoy his stories today. I remember reading this book on one my many, many trips to the local public library with my Mom. Opps, I think I just showed my age! LOL

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I don't remember this book when I was young, but I did read it to my kids. Great review!

    • astevn816 lm profile image

      astevn816 lm 

      4 years ago

      It was one of my favorites as a child also

    • Kalafina profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @Ruthi: Thank you! I hope your Facebook fans will find themselves loving this classic as much as I did!

    • Kalafina profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @WedgeAntilles: I have taken my e-reader everywhere from an hour drive away to Egypt to China. Books make time fly by so I understand why those of us who love to read just cannot go without them. I also want to tell you I feel the same way about several of my childhood books. Not with my grandparents but with my mom. She would even read us books from her German childhood. Some were downright weird but they stuck in my mind forever. Keep on reading and best of luck to you!

    • WedgeAntilles profile image

      Wedge Antilles 

      4 years ago from Mount Vernon, WA

      Like you, I also love reading: when I was about two and while my mom was taking care of my younger brother - who was just an infant at the time - my grandma who lived in an apartment attached to the back of our house, would take care of me and she taught me to read. I remember reading some of the Curious George books long before I began Nursery School when I was 3 1/2. I cut my teeth on Dr. Seuss and by the time I was in the First Grade, I tested out at a reading level of Fourth almost Fifth Grade with Fifth Grade comprehension. The same happened with my kids, as well: we never spoke to them in 'baby talk' and began reading to them when they were still infants. They, like me, love to read and also like me, cannot get enough of reading - we all read everything in sight from the backs of cereal boxes to anything we find just lying around to novels and more. When I leave the house to go to an appointment or any other place where I may have to wait, I always bring at least two books with me to read on the bus and at my appointment while I wait. I always have several books going at any give time because my mood, the weather and other factors, influence what I am reading at any given time. Thank you for this Lens - it reminds so much of the time my grandma and I would spend reading together.

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 

      4 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      Great review Kalafina. I'll make sure I'll read this to my son.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Congratulations on Lens of the day! A great review of a fun book. I love Curious George!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I love Curious George books, my youngest loves them too!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Very excellent review of a classic kids book. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • delia-delia profile image


      4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! very well expressed and written...a great book for children....I also like the book Madeline

    • Pace21 LM profile image

      Pace21 LM 

      4 years ago

      Great job! I loved Curious George when I was young.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 

      4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Nice review of a book written for children who may have to experience a hospital stay themselves. Congratulations on getting to be LOTD!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I grew up on Curious George books, as did my son. I think the hospital story is a good one for children to be introduced to going to the hospital. Details aren't as necessary for the wee ones as for adults, so they won't mind at all if the specifics are a bit vague.

      Congratulations on your Squidoo LOTD feature! I'll also be featuring this on Ruthi Reads Books For Kids on Facebook!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      A great review of a favorite of ours. We've spent many hours reading Curious George to our grandsons. Thanks and Congratulations on LOTD!!!

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      4 years ago

      I've always loved Curious George. :)


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