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Richard McClure Scarry was a popular American children’s author and illustrator who published over 300 books with total sales of over 100 million units worldwide.
Scarry was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where his parents ran a shop. The Scarry family enjoyed a comfortable life even during the time of the Great Depression. Following high school graduation, Scarry enrolled in a business college but soon dropped out, finding it not to his liking. He then studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he remained until being drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II.

Scarry’s books had to be revised. The Best Word Book Ever is one of those books. Here is the original compared to the revised.

Examples in Best Word Book Ever – Original – No Menorah – Rendition – Menorah added

Boats and Ships section: old version showed an Native American in a canoe — new version, a mouse in a pink sweater.

“Work Machines” section — male bulldozer operator became a female bulldozer operator with the addition of pink flowers on sleeves. Soldier is also changed to a female pig.
Soldier Drum

In the “When You Grow Up” section, a milkman becomes a female taxi driver. A Cowboy was replaced by a female gardener and a female scientist; a commuter-train conductor was replaced by a reporter and a female photographer; a soldier was replaced by a female judge and a small female cat.
When You Grow Up
When You Grow Up 2 Original


“Ice Cream” – Original – An Indian Mouse is shown – Rendition – Indian Mouse is gone
Ice Cream Original Richard Scarry


“Dentist” – Original – Friendly Rhinoceros with a friendly complacent walrus – Rendition – Dumb looking bear with a superior looking female walrus
Dentist Richard Scarry Original


“Nationalism” – Original – Boat has Flag – Rendition – Boat has no flag
Flag and Boat Richard Scarry

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