On June 14, 1940, Hans and Margret Rey fled Paris as the German army invaded the city. Escaping on bicycles, they took their only winter coats and four picture books strapped to the racks. Among those books were the watercolors and a rough text for Fifi, later known to the world as Curious George. However, when Curious George was actually published in the United States in 1941, the original watercolors were not used. Hans Rey was required by his editor to create preseparated art for the entire book, so that costs would be lower. The Reys retained the original art and would, on rare occassions, treat carefuly chosen friend and collectors to George as he was first envisioned in Paris so many years before. During their lives they parted with only five of the extraordinary watercolors. For this edition, the original Curious George paintings have been retrieved and reassembled, using modern reproduction techniques. For readers, comparing the originals--hat for hat and grin for grin--against their published counterparts will be intriguing and a great deal of fun. Now all of George's millions of friends can experience what only a few people have ever seen George "in the act of becoming himself."