Thursday 19 September 2013

Scarry, Richard "What Do People Do All Day" et al.

Scarry, Richard "What Do People Do All Day" - 1968 et al.

Richard Scarry is the author of many wonderful stories about the activities of people in Busytown. He must have written and illustrated at least a hundred of them and I suppose we own most of them.

Busy little animals portray the busy little people in Busytown. There are books that teach little kids manners, others that are just plain silly, some are puzzle books, they all teach the kids words.

From the back cover of "What Do People Do All Day":

"An illustrated panorama of the animals of Busytown at work, describing the occupations and activities of many of her citizens through detailed drawings with labels indicating processes and equipment used as they perform their jobs."

In "The Cat Family Take a Trip", for example, they start going by boat and the kids learn all the different words for different boats and all the equipment used on boats. When they reach the town, they learn all the words you use there, especially the shops. But they also teach children about the house, any tool used in the kitchen and clothes in the wardrobe are just a tiny part of this episode. In the end, they visit a farm and we learn about the animals and harvesting. On their way back, they see a lot of workers, from the petrol pump attendant to the engine driver of the train.

There are books about the ABC and school, about seasons, vehicles, toys, anything.

Richard Scarry has created one of the most fantastic worlds for little children to explore before entering the real one.

My boys really enjoyed his books.

Just a few of his many, many titles:

ABC Word Book - 1971
All About Cars - 1989
Best Christmas Book Ever - 1981
Best Counting Book Ever - 1973
Best Friend Ever - 1989
Best Rainy Day Book Ever - 1974
Best Story Book Ever - 1967
Best Times Ever - 1988
Best Word Book Ever - 1963
Billy Dog's Bad Day - 1996
Boats - 1967
Busiest People Ever - 1976
Busy, Busy Town - 1994
Busy, Busy World - 1988
Busy Houses - 1981
Busytown Shape Book - 1982
Busy Town, Busy People - 1976
Busy Workers - 1987
Cars - 1967
The Cat Family Takes a Trip - 1991
Christmas Mice - 1981
European Word Book - 1974
Firemen and Fire Engine Stamps - 1959
Getting Ready for School - 1987
Great Steamboat Mystery - 1975
The Hickory Dickory Clock Book - 1961
Look and Learn Library - 1971
Lowly Worm Things on Wheels - 1979
Planes - 1967
Please and Thank You Book - 1973
Postman Pig and His Busy Neighbors - 1978
Rabbit and His Friends - 1954
Richard Scarry's ABC - 1966
The Santa Claus Book - 1965
Things That Go - 1987
To Market, To Market - 1979
Trains - 1967
Watch Your Step, Mr. Rabbit! - 1991
Welcome to Scarrytown - 1989
What Animals Do - 1963
What Do People Do All Day? - 1968


  1. This is a fantastic list of books, it's crazy how many I recognize from my childhood! I am shopping for some fun seasonal reads for my kids, I need to get some of these and take them old school! I would recommend taking a look at THe Reindeer Keeper and The Snowman maker, obviously newer books, but really good. They are by Barbara Briggs Ward. Her info at Maybe books like hers my kids will remember when they are my age...old!

  2. Thank you, 92b .... (may I call you 92b for short? LOL).
    My boys have outgrown their children's book stage, they read their university books now. The two books you suggest look very interesting but I'm not surprised I don't know them, one has come out in 2010, the other one isn't even available over here, yet. But I'm happy to add them to my list of children's books here on my blog. Thank you.