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Our Richard Scarry Memories

“I fondly remember reading my children his many books & laughing at the antics of my favorite character Lowly Worm. I enjoyed these reading as much as my children did & I think fostered my love & passion for children’s literature in my job as an elementary school librarian.”

Cathy Bonnell, Teacher Librarian
Ocotillo Elementary School
Phoenix, AZ

“Richard Scarry books are always in demand here!”

Julie Farmer, Librarian
Manatee County Central Library
Bradenton, FL

“Richard Scarry’s Great Big Schoolhouse was my favorite Richard Scarry book when I was a kid! I remember looking at that book for hours!”

Kara Fredericks, Children’s Services
Clinton Macomb Public Library- North Branch
Macomb Township

“I remember learning with my 3 year old in Cars and Trucks and Things that Go that my old fashioned term “steam shovel”, learned from Mike Mulligan, should now in fact be “Power Shovel”. Alas, trains don’t go Choo-choo any more either.”

Melissa Boveroux, Children’s Book Lead
Barnes and Noble

“I remember reading Richard Scarry books all the time as a kid. Although I don’t remember a particular title, I do remember pouring over all the words and pictures and feeling good about myself for being able to read so much! What stands out in my mind is the long, stuffed Lowly Worm my mom helped me make out of felt. My proudest creation! Lowly must have had been the impetus for my compulsive stuffed storybook character collection as a librarian.”

Holly Jin, Youth Services
Skokie Public Library
Skokie, IL

“When my son was young (he’s now 39) we both loved our Richard Scarry books. But in 1974 I wrote to Mr. Scarry to express my disappointment that he had so few female characters, and that those few he portrayed were in traditional female supporting roles, or they were being rescued by males, or they were watching while the boys and men did exciting things. I wrote to Mr. Scarry in care of Random House and he replied from Switzerland. He apparently typed the letter himself; it contains some typos which he corrected by hand.

“I am inclined to agree that most of what you say is true,” he wrote. “I have been ‘boy’ oriented. In fact I was thinking in terms of boy books…But I have reformed.” He referred to his latest books, Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, which had females doing all sorts of interesting things. He also cautioned me that characters “in pants or overalls could be of either sex.”

He enclosed a sketch of Huckle and Lowly, which I immediately framed and have been displaying proudly ever since.

And I still have the books.”

Janice Lindsay
Volunteer Bookseller – Skidompha Used-Book Shop
Fundraiser for the Skidompha Public Library
Damariscotta, Maine

“My 28 year old son, Tim, now in medical school, LOVED Richard Scarry’s books when he was a preschooler. He wanted to thank Richard Scarry for writing these books, so Tim wrote him a letter when he was about 4 years old. Wonder of wonders – a letter postmarked from Switzerland appeared in our mailbox one day! Tim enjoyed sharing that letter with his gradeschool teachers and librarians. I feel horrible because over the years, that letter has disappeared, but I’m thankful for the memories of it. I know, too, that of all Richard Scarry’s writings, that’s of little importance; the really wonderful ones are being republished by Sterling, and that’s cause for celebration!”

Joanne Newton
Librarian – Youth Materials Selector
Rockford Public Library
Rockford, IL

“One of my favorite book memories is about Cars and Trucks and Things that Go. I had a little boy who wanted to check out the book and it was just falling apart. I suggested that he let me keep it so it could be repaired before he took it the home. I told him I would call as soon as it was mended. Well, he pitched a walleyed fit and said he had to have the “go book” now! So off the book went. When it was returned, the book was repaired and placed back on the shelf.”

Rebecca K. Bendel
Flower Mound Public Library
Flower Mound, TX

“Growing up, my brother and I adored Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. We would pore over the pages, looking at all the amazing automobiles – real and imaginary. It’s also true that the large hardcover book made an excellent inclined speedway for my brother’s Hot Wheels . . .

My favorite thing to do was to spot the little mouse in his little mouse-car, lurking somewhere on every page. And I loved the imaginary cars! How amazing would it be to drive an alligator-mobile? Or Lowly Worm’s apple-mobile? My hometown, Houston, hosts the Houston Art Car Parade every year; people come from all over to show off some of the most original and outrageous kinds of motorized or human-powered vehicles – it was just like seeing Richard Scarry’s book come to life!

Now I’m so excited to be able to work with Richard Scarry’s books. I’m rediscovering some of the stories that I loved – like The Great Pie Robbery and The Great Steamboat Mystery (now compiled, along with The Supermarket Mystery, into a book called The Great Pie Robbery and Other Mysteries) – and discovering new Richard Scarry books that like Peasant Pig and the Terrible Dragon . . . with Lowly Worm the Jolly Jester! Who knew medieval pigs could be so darn cute?”

Derry Wilkens
Manager, Children’s Publicity for Sterling Publishing