Monday, October 23, 2017

The Scary World of Richard Scarry

Richard Scarry books were old standbys when I was reading to my young children.  Yes, they can be a bit cluttered but they are visually appealing and I think the author had a good sense of how the child-mind operated.  But a few peculiar, in fact, disturbing little things can be seen in the early editions.  Jokes?  Ideas that used to be palatable and are no longer?

Below is a page from the 1963 copyrighted Best Word Book Ever.  This is from the 1980 printing that we read when my kids were little.  Now I read it to the grand kid.  I try not to point out some parts...

The little piglet seems unconcerned by the bacon in the case and the ham on the wall.....and hey, where did mom go?
Note: The 1980 revision apparently was done to edit out a whole bunch of other stuff that was becoming problematic.  Harsh parental discipline, cliched gender roles, etc. So it is not as if the 1963 version was not gone over with a critical eye.....

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