Curious George Goes to the Hospital is a children's book written and illustrated by Margret Rey and H. A. Rey and published by Houghton Mifflin in 1966. It is the seventh and final book in the original Curious George series, and tells the story of George's experiences in a hospital after swallowing a jigsaw puzzle piece. The book was written to ease the way for hospital-bound children.
George wakes up one day to find a box on the table. Upon opening it, he pulls out a colorful jigsaw puzzle piece. Thinking it was a piece of candy, he puts it in his mouth and ends up swallowing it. Later, The Man with the Yellow Hat comes home and sees that George opened the puzzle and they both work on it. Of course, one piece was missing, and after trying to find it, give up for the night and head to bed. The next morning, George was too sick to eat breakfast, so The Man calls a doctor who, upon examining him, recommends he go to the hospital.
Upon arrival at the hospital, they run into a mother and her young daughter, Betsy, who was frowning because this was her first time in a hospital and she was scared. A nurse (we learn is named Carol) takes George and The Man back, gives George a barium drink, then puts him on the x-ray table. The x-rays come back showing the puzzle piece still in George's stomach, undigested. George is then admitted to the hospital overnight, and is taken to the children's ward, where he is given a shot to put him to sleep and is wheeled into surgery.
When he wakes up, he is groggy and isn't even interested in the good news that the piece is out of him or of the book The Man has, and goes back to sleep.
The next morning, he is all better, has some ice cream, and is taken to the play room, where a number of children, including a still-frowning Betsy, was. George meets another kid in a wheelchair with a broken leg who is going to try to walk later with the cast still on. At this point, George starts doing things that end up starting to break Betsy out of her funk. First, using all four limbs, he puts on a puppet show for the kids, which gets her to smile a bit. Next, he finds a record player, stands on the turntable part, turns it on, and spins around faster and faster, until he is flung off and luckily lands on a large pillow to cushion his landing. The kids laugh at it, and Betsy smiled again, but the nurse picks him up and takes him to a spot to nap it off.
When he wakes up, all the kids and the nurse were diverted from him as the boy with the broken leg tries to walk. Noticing the wheelchair empty, George hops into it and wheels it out of the room. By the time the nurse noticed it gone, George was already around the corner and heading down a steep ramp to the first floor right at a couple of attendants pushing food carts. George luckily jumped off the wheelchair before it slammed into the carts, spilling food all over the place. All the kids came out to see this happen, and the first one to laugh at it was Betsy. This got the rest of the kids laughing, and even all of the adults laughing. The only one that didn't laugh, was George. In fact, he started crying when he realized what he had done. Betsy sees this, and runs down the ramp to console George, and tells him this is what finally made her smile and be happy. The adults just agreed to clean up the mess and be done with it, and The Man arrives to take him home. As they were about to leave, the nurse runs out with a little present for George to take home. Upon arrival home, George opens it and finds it to be the puzzle piece he swallowed, which they triumphantly put where it belongs to complete the picture.