Finished October 18
Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys by H.A. Rey
As the cover indicates, this is the first book that Curious George appeared in. It was first published in France in 1939 as Rafi et les 9 Singes, and in England as Raffy and the Nine Monkeys. When the author and his wife fled France in June 1940, they went to New York and there they published the first Curious George book in 1941, followed by the newly titled reprint of this book.
In this book, all the characters are animals, and Cecily the giraffe is lonely as all her friends and family have been taken away to zoos. George, his siblings, and his mother are looking for a new home as the forest they lived in was cut down. As the animals find each other and play together, it is George's mother Madame Pamplemoose who is the adult figure, stopping the monkeys when Cecily is being taken advantage of too much, or when she finds the games too dangerous.
It is definitely a book of its time, and I found many of the monkey games had Cecily as a prop rather than a participant.
The afterword by Louise Borden is interesting as it gives a short biography of Rey and his wife and the books.