Saturday, February 11, 2006

Remembering Gramps

Alan J. Shalleck, 76, who collaborated with the co-creator of Curious George to bring the mischievous monkey to television and a series of book sequels, was found dead Feb. 7 outside his home in Boynton Beach, Fla.

Shalleck's death comes at a time when that loveable monkey, Curious George, is opening on the big screen and will surely find his way into the hearts of many of today's youngsters.

It is truly sad that Shalleck will not be around to witness the joy George will bring to a new generation of children as Shalleck loved to visit schools, where he was affectionately known as Gramps, so he could read to the students. Shalleck knew the importance of reading and wished to pass on his love of books: "Gramps is a persona that transcends everything else," he told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 2001. "I'm a communicator, not an educator. My main goal is to get them to love to read."

I'm sure the man will be holding George's hand and removing his yellow hat to hold it close to his heart when he thinks of Gramps today. Rest in peace Mr. Shalleck.

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