Richard Scarry, Godhead

Richard Scarry. The name first came to me after my brother was born in the early 70s and several of Scarry’s books found their way into our household. Compared to the typical Sesame Street books, these immediately caught my eye. In fact, I probably spent as much time as my brother poring over the pages and marveling at the personalities Scarry was able to inject into his charming animal characters. They didn’t even seem like animals at all…but people I knew. Having drawn mostly drag racing cars up until then, I started experimenting with copying some of his characters, trying to find what made them so real and warm. Needless to say…I could not come close.

So imagine my surprise when eons later I ran across an interesting Scarry related set on Flickr. It carefully compared two versions of The Best Word Book Ever. A 1963 printing vs. a 1991 printing. While some of the gender roles changes are predictable, other changes are simply baffling. Palette changes, reimaginings of certain characters (often with less personality). It really makes one try to get into Scarry’s head. Fascinating stuff. And judging by the page hits on these scans (around 44,000 last I checked) I’m not the only one who find this interesting.

The Best Word Book Ever, 1963 and 1991

Another great Scarry related link. Excerpts from his Golden Book of Manners:

Golden Book of Manners, 1962

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