Richard Scarry's Biggest Pop-Up Book Ever!

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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307124609
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/1992
  • Series: Pop-up Book Series
  • Pages: 6
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 17.86 (w) x 14.58 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Scarry
Richard Scarry
Thousands of children have learned to read with Richard Scarry’s busy, colorful, generous books. But Scarry has done more than help kids read. With their bright illustrations, simple text, and gentle lessons on sharing and tolerance, Scarry's stories have also helped kids grow up and relate to people around them.

Biography

"I'm not interested in creating a book that is read once and then placed on the shelf and forgotten," Richard Scarry once said. "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." Considering the propensity of Scarry's preschool-age readership to ask for their favorite books again and again, it's a compliment he must have received often during his tenure as one of the most popular children's authors of all time.

Scarry began his career as a freelance illustrator, drawing pictures to accompany the text of books by children’s authors such as Margaret Wise Brown, Kathryn Jackson, and Patricia Murphy (who became Patricia Scarry when she married Richard in 1949). His first two efforts at writing his own books, The Great Big Car and Truck Book (1951) and Rabbit and His Friends (1953), already suggest some of his interests as an author: travel, technology, and talking animals.

But it was the 1963 publication of Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever that put Scarry on bestseller lists, and established his signature style. Its densely packed pages are populated by anthropomorphic animals at work and play, in drawings that reward multiple readings with details children (and parents) may not notice at first glance. The large-format book contains over 1400 illustrated and labeled objects, along with simple introductions to concepts like sharing and helping.

In Busy, Busy World (1965), Scarry's animals star in a series of international adventures in such far-flung locales as Paris, Rome, and Algeria. Well before multiculturalism was an educational buzzword, Scarry believed he could use animals to help children imaginatively enter others' experiences. In a Publishers Weekly interview, he explained that "children can identify more closely with pictures of animals than they can with pictures of another child. They see an illustration of a blond girl or a dark-haired boy, who they know is somebody other than themselves, and competition creeps in. With imagination -- and children all have marvelous imagination -- they can easily identify with an anteater who is a painter or a goat who is an Indian."

Though Scarry soon abandoned exotic settings in favor of the fictional Busytown, he continued to illustrate different roles in society with cherubic critters like Postman Pig, Huckle Cat, Sergeant Murphy, and Lowly Worm. Once he had developed a cast of characters, he introduced them into everything from picture dictionaries and activity books to mystery stories and manners lessons.

Scarry's books, which have sold over 100 million copies and been translated into 30 languages, always reflected his own curiosity about the world. "Wherever I go, I'm watching," he liked to say. "Even on vacation, when I'm in an airport or a railroad station, I look around, snap pictures, and find out how people do things." In relating his discoveries to children, he expanded not only their vocabularies, but their understanding of the "busy world" as a social community in which people work, play, cooperate and share.

Good To Know

From 1941 through 1946, Scarry served in the U.S. Army. The army, he joked, "thought I would make a good radio repairman. My exam mark was minus 13, so they decided to make me a corporal." Scarry wound up as an art director for the Morale Services Section, and eventually rose to the rank of captain.

Richard Scarry's son Huck Scarry is also a writer and illustrator of children's books, including some new additions to the Busytown series. His nickname matches that of the title character in one of his father's favorite books, Huckleberry Finn.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Richard McClure Scarry (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 5, 1919
    2. Place of Birth:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      April 30, 1994
    2. Place of Death:
      Gstaad, Switzerland

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2001

    More Pop-Up than Story, but Fascinating for Your Child!

    Children really adore pop-up books, especially those with little windows to open, wheels to turn to change the image, and levers to push and pull. The maximum fascination seems to come from ages 2-4, and this book is a cornucopia of pop-up fun for such a child. If your children are like mine, they will spend many hours happily interacting with the materials in this book. Each time, they will want to manipulate each item at least once! The story is the weak part of this book. I graded the book down to reflect this weakness, although I thought the book's design and use of pop-ups are terrific. To put all of those pop-ups together, the scenes had to change a lot. The book opens (pun intended) with Hilda Hippo reading her letter from Lowly Worm to find that she's been invited to his birthday party. To go to the party, she takes a bus to the train station. On the train, she has a fine meal. The train arrives at the dock where she boards an ocean liner. After she debarks, she drives in a Hippomobile at an airport. There, she gets a ride in Rudolf von Flugel's private plane. The last page describes what happens when Rudolf and she arrive at the party. The travel process doesn't make much sense, so you'll just have to encourage your child to laugh at the silliness and enjoy it. The story only progresses on pages 1, 11, and 12. Here's how the book is designed. Each time you open a page, you are looking at a giant pop-up scene that fills half the area (and blocks out the back, which you cannot see). The pop-ups are all over the page, so there are many different items. In addition, windows and other items to manipulate are everywhere, with some on the pop-ups and some not. After you have read all of the pop-ups facing one way, you turn the book upside down (from your original perspective) and read it going the other way. In the end, Lowly Worm says, 'Why, this is the best birthday ever.' I suspect that you and your child will be saying that this is the best pop-up book ever. Such a large and complicated pop-up book is undoubtedly going to get heavy use. Some parts will be torn and rendered unusable. You should plan to reinforce any parts you see starting to wear as soon as that happens. These are cardboard items, so Super Glue and transparent tape work well. If you think your child may want to have a fairly pristine copy to treasure for future generations, you could buy more than one and store one of them away for when your child is physically easier on books. If your child likes this book, I also suggest getting other interactive books for your child. My four children all went through many copies of Pat the Bunny as their starting point for 'touch and see' books. Another good activity to use with your child is to play plenty of peek-a-boo starting before age one. Pop-up books are all about peek-a-boo, and allow you to continue the wonderful fun! Have a ball! Donald Mitchell, co-author of the Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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