Richard Scarry's Great Big Air Book
by Richard Scarry/ published 1971 by Random House
Now that I'm reunited with my childhood Richard Scarry books, I thought it was about time I gave cred to the world that came to be known as Busytown. Now hold onto your hats... but I can honestly say that when I was little, Mr. Scarry's books were my favorites, hands down. Something about the shear so-many-things-going-on-at-once-ness of them all really engaged my pea brain mind in a way no other books did. My son is the same. If I have to go somewhere and keep him busy in a waiting room, doctor's office or line of some kind, I simply pack an oversized Scarry book, and I'm good for a half hour or more.
These are the books that taught me what people do all day, the elements of the school day, how to brush my teeth, what everything in the world is called, and in this case, all about air pollution, air travel and cool summer breezes. If you are looking to purchase any of these titles, be sure to buy vintage. As a friend of mine pointed out to me, the new versions are weirdly PC. Check out this awesome flickr comparison.
In the summer the air is hot. It is fun to go to the beach and enjoy cool ocean breezes. Mathilda could hardly wait to put on her new rubber tube and go for a swim. She was sure that the air in the tube would keep her from sinking.
Think again my hippo friend. Yep, Huckle Cat, Miss Honey and the rest of the gang populated my adolescent imagination deep into my teen years, and as far as I'm concered, any childhood without them would be a lesser one. With each person, place and thing labeled and hilarious, these books open up the universe to kids. Scarry's animals live lives parallel to our own, and isn't that what all kids want? A banana-car driving baboon they can relate to?
I Am a Bunny
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rabbit and His Friends
The Bunny Book
Richard Scarry's Best Rainy Day Book Ever
Tommy Visits the Doctor