Author-illustrator H. A. Rey (1898–1977)…grew up in Hamburg, Germany, as did his wife Margret (1906–1996). After World War I, Hans emigrated to Brazil; the two were married there in 1935. Carrying Brazilian passports, they honeymooned in Paris. Their intended two-week stay was extended until 1940 when, in the book’s central event, the Jewish Reys barely managed to escape the invading Germans—on bicycles. Meanwhile, they’d begun making children’s books; an early draft of Curious George was one of the very few items they carried as they fled occupied France.…Borden’s simple, quietly dramatic text
(“The train slowly pulled out of the Orleans station, / then swayed and
clattered along the tracks / as it gathered speed. / To Hans and Margret, / after three days of pedaling, / the sound was wonderful”) is marvelously enhanced by perfectly integrated historical and family photos and
documents.…More than a first biography of picture book icons, this is a fine introduction to the period for young children, a model of
documentation, and an exceptionally inviting and well-designed book. —Horn Book. Grades 3–6.