If your children and grandchildren are like mine, they have loved the stories of "Curious George," the little brown monkey who always seemed to be in some kind of trouble.
I had never paid much attention to the creators of this character, even though -- in good journalist style -- whenever I read a book to my grandchildren now I always begin with the author's name and I tell them, "Always read bylines."
At any rate, it turns out that the creators of Curious George, Margret and H.A. Rey, were Jews in France who managed to escape Paris in June 1940 as it was being invaded by the Germans.
Their story is told in the 2005 book, The Journey that Saved Curious George, by Louise Borden, and that book now is the basis of a new exhibit that will be on display in the Kansas City area starting Wednesday. It's being sponsored by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and will be at the Jewish Community Center Gallery at 5801 W. 115th St. in Overland Park, Kan.
The exhbit link I've given you about the exhibit also details a Nov. 4 talk by Louise Borden and a Nov. 17 celebrity reading panel. It also tells you how to make reservations.
When I was in Poland a couple of years ago doing interviews for my new book, They Were Just People: Stories of Rescue in Poland During the Holocaust, I wrote this column about absence and what is missing because of the Holocaust. Children all over the world are grateful that one of the things not missing is Curious George.
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ANOTHER FALSE GOSPEL
Newt Gingrich again is preaching the gospel of American exceptionalism -- the notion that the United States was, in effect, founded by God. Most of the founders of the U.S. were people of faith. No doubt of that. And many were motivated by religious reasoning. That's to be celebrated. But all of that is far different from claiming that America is God's chosen land, which essentially is the message from Gingrich. That's a dangerous message that, among other bad consequences, leads to worldwide antagonsim toward the U.S. We've got enough of that already, thank you.