Many of my fondest childhood memories can be traced back to the endless list of books and stories I read during these tender years. I was a voracious reader as a child. I suppose the apple did not fall far from the tree, as my mother is a bookworm to the core. My parents indulged in my passion and ensured I had a plentiful supply of reading material to keep me satisfied. I was always seeking out quiet and private hideaways to delve into the latest tale, uninterrupted. I could often be found perched high among the branches of our backyard poplar tree, nose buried in a book.
One author/illustrator in particular who brings back a rush of warm memories is Richard Scarry. His detailed illustrations are captivating and amusing to the young and old. Scarry’s Storybook Dictionary tops Chi-Chi’s current reading list. He has spent hours thumbing through the fun filled pages of this 125-page book. He’s fallen in love with a number of the endearing characters and often portrays them through his role-playing activities. As adults, my husband and I have been enjoying story time with Scarry. My husband in particular chuckles at the unique sense of humor sprinkled among the pages. I personally appreciate the simple, idyllic and comforting view of life portrayed in the books. Scarry's illustrations provide me with a warm and secure feeling. They are like comfort food for my soul. I’d love to spend the morning in Huckle Cat’s kitchen sipping fresh squeezed orange juice and nibbling on pancakes alongside Lowly Worm. Busytown seems like a picture-perfect place to raise a young family!
I recently left my local library disappointed. It was slim pickins’ in the Richard Scarry department. I’ve managed to stumble upon a few super finds at our local thrift shop and have recently been scanning the EBay listings for my old-time favorites. I’ve been careful in selecting which stories are appropriate for our family. Because many of these books were written forty years ago, there are a number of stories that would likely be considered politically incorrect. I focus on the positives and simply omit certain passages as we go along.
Dusting off the dust jackets of our childhood favorites has been a fun way for the whole family to enjoy story time. While we all certainly appreciate the new classics of today's generation, we are all having a great time tuning into the "oldies".