Everyone knows the Curious George series, by H.A. Rey. However, you may not be aware that George is actually in other stories of Rey's, one of which is called Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys. I took this book out from the library because Emma loves Curious George, and of course Rey's illustrations are wonderful. I have always thought that Cecily was a bit of an odd story, but as usual, it takes the perspective of an almost-4-year-old to really cement that idea!
Cecily G. (short for Cecily Giraffe--get it?) is lonely when all her friends and relations are captured and sent to zoos. George, his mama and seven siblings are sad because their forest has been cut down and they have no home anymore. When Cecily meets the monkeys, she is delighted to have some lively new friends and invites them to live with her. They share many wacky games---the monkeys love to SKI, and since there is no snow, they tie Cecily's head to a palm tree and use her neck and back for a ski jump....one wonders where monkeys would get skis, much less learn to ski when they live in Africa, but I guess we're just suspending our disbelief for the sake of the story! Cecily also makes a good seesaw, bridge, parachute jump and hook and ladder when her house inexplicably goes on fire. She also manages to walk on stilts, and the monkeys turn her into a harp by tying strings to her head, nose and front feet (the rest of her sits curved appropriately so that she looks like a harp...)
However, when Cecily turned herself into a sailboat for George and his family to ride at the beach, then takes off her skin and hangs it to dry on a clothesline, Emma reached her breaking point. Shaking her head, she announced,
"This story is just not realistic!"