Wednesday, 3 June 2020



Richard McClure Scarry was born on 5th June 1919 in Boston Massachusetts. He was the author and illustrator of over 300 children's books with a total sales of over a 100 million worldwide.

Scarry was raised in a happy home and from 1939 to 1942 he studied art at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts School and then served in the army as an art director.

After the war he worked as a freelance illustrator. His first book, Two Little Miners was published in the Little Golden Book series in 1949. That was followed by five other children's books, published by Simon and Schuster in the same year.

In 1963 he made his breakthrough with 'Richard Scarry's Best World Book Ever' the book, filled with over 1,400 objects identified with labels, sold seven million copies in twelve years. 

In 1968 Richard with his wife Patsy and son Huck moved to Switzerland. His books with colourful characters like Mr Frumble, Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm continued to sell in large numbers.

In 1972 the family bought a chalet in Gstaad where Scarry began his studio. 


1. Lowly Worm wasn't meant to be a star but the children loved him so much he brought him back.

2. He collaborated with his wife Patsy on several books.

3. At one time, eight of the 50 best-selling children's books of all time were his.

4. He drew maps for the army.

5. His son, Huck Scarry, picked up where his father left off.

Richard Scarry died at his home in Gstaad, Switzerland on April 30th, 1994.


Penny Dolan said...

Hooray! I think Scarry's happy childhood came through in his joyful books. I've seen so many children enjoy the pages and the "Word Book and "What do people Do All Day" books were big enough for young children to share and chat about with their friends.

Yes I ma a fan, but I didn't know he'd actually moved to Switzerland or that his son was called Huck, like one of his characters as well as the Finn/Twain version.

Sharon Tregenza said...

Hi, I'm a fan too and loved going through his books with the kids when they were little. No matter how many times you read a book you could always discover something new. They were adorable.

Lynne Benton said...

Thanks for this, Sharon - my children were all huge fans of his books! Our favourite was the "Please and Thank You Book", which we still quote from on a regular basis!

Sue Purkiss said...

Son Richard loved these books. Must admit I wasn't quite so keen - always preferred to read a story! But he got a huge amount out of them. Didn't know anything about Scarry's life, so this was very interesting.

Sharon Tregenza said...

Hi Lynne, I'm not sure if we had the "Please and Thank You Book" We loved the worm one and the one with the goldbug in. :)

Sharon Tregenza said...

Hi Sue,
I think the kids loved them because there always seemed to be something else to see. So many characters doing so many things. We used to make up our own stories about them. :)