Scarry once said,
“I’m not interested in creating a book that is read once and then placed on the shelf and forgotten. I am very happy when people write that they have worn out my books, or that they are held together by Scotch tape. I consider that the ultimate compliment.”
Well, I have to say, my childhood copy of the big book BUSY, BUSY WORLD is all taped up along the binding! I remember fondly the double-decker bus on the cover, with the Eiffel Tower in the background. I've always been interested in travel and cultures, probably be because of that book, with its fun illustrations depicting countries and life all over the world...all inhabited by anthropomorphic animals!!
I honestly can't think of an author/illustrator who has created a bigger (or more fun) world of animal characters for young children than Richard Scarry. He considered himself a fun-man disguised as an educator.
"Everything has an educational value if you look for it. But it's the fun I want to get across."
He got his start illustrating and writing lots of "Little Golden Books" in the 1950's. Go here to see them all!
But his big break came in 1963, when he wrote Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever, in large-format.
His stories are easy to follow because of all the detailed pictures and matter-of-fact text -- even though the action taking place can be quite complex.
I remember pages full of funny scenarios:
A city street with a gorilla driving a banana truck -
while swerving out of the way of an exploding fire hydrant -
that has just been hit by "Lowly Worm" (in his little apple car) -
with "Mr. Fixit Fox" showing up to tow him away -
while "Sargent Murphy" (a dog) is directing traffic...
Because of the fun animal characters that show up over and over again in the stories, as well as all that's happening on each page, kids want to look at and have these books read to them over and over again, in case they miss something the first (or second, or third) time!
What's your favorite Richard Scarry book?