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Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever

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Words, words, words! They define everything and kids want to define their world. Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever is frankly the best word book ever!!! From the Bear's home to the beach, from the airport to the zoo, verbs, numbers, parts of the body, every oversized spread has hundreds of things  to look at, point to, and identify.  Pigs, cats, rabbits, and bears, all d Words, words, words! They define everything and kids want to define their world. Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever is frankly the best word book ever!!! From the Bear's home to the beach, from the airport to the zoo, verbs, numbers, parts of the body, every oversized spread has hundreds of things  to look at, point to, and identify.  Pigs, cats, rabbits, and bears, all doing what we do every day—playing with toys, driving fire engines, and experiencing life, just like the avid readers of this classic favorite. In print for fifty years, this book has sold over a half million copies. . . . That's over a billion words learned by children all over the world.  Learning has never been more fun!  


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Words, words, words! They define everything and kids want to define their world. Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever is frankly the best word book ever!!! From the Bear's home to the beach, from the airport to the zoo, verbs, numbers, parts of the body, every oversized spread has hundreds of things  to look at, point to, and identify.  Pigs, cats, rabbits, and bears, all d Words, words, words! They define everything and kids want to define their world. Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever is frankly the best word book ever!!! From the Bear's home to the beach, from the airport to the zoo, verbs, numbers, parts of the body, every oversized spread has hundreds of things  to look at, point to, and identify.  Pigs, cats, rabbits, and bears, all doing what we do every day—playing with toys, driving fire engines, and experiencing life, just like the avid readers of this classic favorite. In print for fifty years, this book has sold over a half million copies. . . . That's over a billion words learned by children all over the world.  Learning has never been more fun!  

30 review for Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    * * * Read and Reviewed by Me & My Niece Emma * * * Emma has real doubts about that title. I fought for Richard Scarry, but I'm afraid the 5 year old girl might be right. Scarry's cartoony fantasy land populated with eyelid-less, anthropomorphic animals was absolutely beloved by yours truly when I was but a wee lad. However, this incarnation has none of the sense of fun found in the Scarry books I read as a boy. Nothing, I mean nothing out of the ordinary happens in Best.... In the Scarry book * * * Read and Reviewed by Me & My Niece Emma * * * Emma has real doubts about that title. I fought for Richard Scarry, but I'm afraid the 5 year old girl might be right. Scarry's cartoony fantasy land populated with eyelid-less, anthropomorphic animals was absolutely beloved by yours truly when I was but a wee lad. However, this incarnation has none of the sense of fun found in the Scarry books I read as a boy. Nothing, I mean nothing out of the ordinary happens in Best.... In the Scarry books of my youth, the characters got into all kinds of zany japery. I recall one high-larious episode in which an ape went for a joy ride that turned the town upside down! (In retrospect, I think the ape was a watch thief.) This...thing is nothing more than animal people doing nothing untoward, just normal day-to-day activities: waking up in the morning, playing on the playground, building things, farming, going shopping, etc. There are pages of airplanes, cars, zoo animals, firefighters, things you'd find at the beach, and facial expressions. Each page is filled with these items. Each item has its word beside it. Each page has one short, explanatory paragraph with such "riveting" prose as: School is fun. There are so many things we learn to do. Kathy Bear is learning how to find a lost mitten. OH MY GOODNESS! Call out the National Guard! Someone get the Bureau of Lost Mittens on the line! Holy hell, talk about boring. Not only is this book fun-free, I couldn't even find my favorite character Lowly, an earthworm in a dashing little hat. Aside from a logo on the cover, Lowly doesn't seem to appear in the book at all. Each page is so very busy that perhaps I missed him, but I looked and looked for such a long while that Emma went off to entertain herself elsewhere and came back some time later asking, "Did you find him?!" Yes, that exclamation point is necessary. Emma possesses an "indoor voice," but likes to know she's being heard. Okay, so clearly Best... is meant to be a book for learning purposes, but did it have to be so purposefully dull? One reason my be that this was one of the author's very early books. I'm no Richard Scarry scholar, but it would seem he started off staid and later amped up the good times. Whether you were born in the '60s or the '00s, kids like fun, and so for this one the Emma-o-meter registered utter disinterest.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Caterina

    Grew up with the English and Italian editions in our bilingual household. Best. Word. Book. Ever! How I loved these books that nourished my love of words ... and my love of lists.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    Although I never actually experienced the original English language edition of Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever as a child in Germany, the triple language German, English and French version titled Mein allerschönstes Wörterbuch Deutsch - Englisch - Französisch was one of my very favourite educational word learning picture books (and indeed a favourite language teaching and learning tool for the entire family) when I was about eight and nine years of age (1974 to 1975). And of course, I was t Although I never actually experienced the original English language edition of Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever as a child in Germany, the triple language German, English and French version titled Mein allerschönstes Wörterbuch Deutsch - Englisch - Französisch was one of my very favourite educational word learning picture books (and indeed a favourite language teaching and learning tool for the entire family) when I was about eight and nine years of age (1974 to 1975). And of course, I was therefore also keen on reading Best Word Book Ever although that the version of the book currently in print and most readily (and cheaply) available for purchase is the 2013 50th anniversary edition (which has been both abridged and made more so-called politically correct for the 21st century) did both bother me and intrigue me at the same time, and yes, that it would indeed be academically worthwhile and enlightening comparing and contrasting my unabridged 1974 German, French and English copy with the 2o13 50th anniversary special edition of Best Word Book Ever I had just purchased. And truth be told, while I have certainly very much enjoyed Best Word Book Ever in its 2013 incarnation and do think that for the most part, Richard Scarry's combination of words and images are relatively similar if I compare them to Mein allerschönstes Wörterbuch Englisch - Deutsch -Französisch (which was also the closest I could get comparing the 2013 Best Word Book Ever to earlier editions), I do find some of the changes and omissions a bit strange and possibly even problematic and I also do have to wonder why certain scenes that I have always had issues with have not been touched, have been totally left alone (not that I actually would have wanted them to be changed, but still). For example, in the scene featuring the Rabbit House, while I do understand and even consider it positive that in the 2013 Best Word Book Ever edition, both Father Rabbit and Mother Rabbit are sharing cooking duties (unlike in Mein allerschönstes Wörterbuch Deutsch - English -Französisch where Mother Rabbit is is busy in the kitchen and Father Rabbit is getting dressed to go to work, which probably also mirrors older incarnations of Best Word Book Ever), I do find it a bit strange that most of the objects depicted in the house that could be seen as old technology are still shown as such, that there is a very old fashioned telephone, a vinyl record player and a television aerial depicted (for me personally, quite delightful, as I would have absolutely have despised seeing this changed to modern, contemporary technology, but of course with the caveat that parents reading Best Word Book Ever with or to their children might need to explain what a vinyl record player and a television aerial even are). And yes, I do find it absolutely annoying and in my opinion actually totally unacceptable that in the 2013 Best Word Book Ever edition the toy section has been so greatly reduced and that almost EVERY SINGLE TOY that in Mein alleschönstes Wörterbuch Deutsch - Englisch - Französisch and of course also (likely) in the older English language editions of Best Word Book Ever showed toys that generally would appeal to girls have simply not been included anymore. I mean, why are there no dolls, no depictions anymore of a little girl having a tea party and no doll houses in this here Best Word Book Ever? And why are there equally no longer a toy castle and a bow and arrow set being shown? Does the publisher somehow think that dolls and other "girly" toys are in and of themselves so gender biased they should no longer even be included in a list of toys and that toy castles and bow and arrow games automatically promote violence? Really kind of sad, because toys are toys and actually both girls and boys often and even today still enjoy playing with dolls and with castles etc. And really, if the publisher truly thought that some of the toys originally included in Best Word Book Ever were potentially problematic, well, that could have easily been remedied with supplemental notes etc. as just removing certain and by many children very much beloved toys such as dolls, doll houses, castles and the like, I for one do consider this rather ignorant and insulting at best. And finally, furthermore, while I do understand that in the 2013 edition of Best Word Book Ever, the scene depicting the Wild West (including some rather offensive names for Native Americans such as Papoose and Squaw) have been removed, considering that this scene would also in my opinion be a wonderful vehicle for discussion (and especially with older children), I for one rather do wish that the Wild West scene had not just been completely erased but had simply been relegated to the end of Best Word Book Ever as a supplemental scene (although I probably would still be wanting the words Squaw and Papoose to be changed into more politically and socially acceptable vocabulary choices). And really, if the Wild West scene of Best Word Book Ever is so totally anathema and politically incorrect to completely remove it, should there not also be perhaps at the very least some questions raised regarding the suitability in 2013 of both the circus and and the zoo illustrative spreads (for come on, the way that Richard Scarry depicts zoos in Best Word Book Ever, while acceptable and suitable for the 1960s and 1970s, it certainly to and for my eyes looks not particularly animal friendly in 2013, with tiny enclosures and animals simply caged in non species appropriate environments, not to mention that many circuses no longer even feature animal performers and yes, especially that circus scene has always bothered me both as a child and now, because it simply just to and for me makes it seem so totally acceptable without criticism that using animals for entertainment purposes is fine).

  4. 5 out of 5

    J

    THIS IS the best word book ever. EVER. My four year old and I stretch out on our bellies on the floor and read every single word. "traffic light, telephone booth, manhole, sidewalk, subway entrance, token seller, newsstand, taxi, turnpike or thruway or superhighway, crane, seaport, bay, lighthouse, drawbridge, windmill, forest, classroom, wastebasket, inkwell, desk, pencil, paper clip, scissors, string, lost-clothing drawer, clock, grocer, salmonella infested peanut butter, jam, bread, baby food THIS IS the best word book ever. EVER. My four year old and I stretch out on our bellies on the floor and read every single word. "traffic light, telephone booth, manhole, sidewalk, subway entrance, token seller, newsstand, taxi, turnpike or thruway or superhighway, crane, seaport, bay, lighthouse, drawbridge, windmill, forest, classroom, wastebasket, inkwell, desk, pencil, paper clip, scissors, string, lost-clothing drawer, clock, grocer, salmonella infested peanut butter, jam, bread, baby food, sugar, cheese, eggs, cherries, plums, blueberries, cart, shopper, piglet who wants to work in the supermarket when she grows up, ocean liner, pirate ship, barge, tugboat, freighter, oil tanker, ferryboat, sport-fishing boat, houseboat, sailboat, raft, kayak, canoe, rowboat, oar, worm, dandelion seed, button, pin, snowflake, ladybug, drop of water, fingerprint, jelly bean, firefly, pea, crumb, sand, keyhole, polliwog, rice, thimble, pincushion, needle, marble, blade of grass, ink spot, pearl, mushroom, bee, raisin, raspberry, hermit crab, pebble, confetti, feather, safety pin, bean, baby mouse, splinter, dot..."

  5. 5 out of 5

    KC

    CLASSIC AND ALWAYS FUN TIMES WITH RICHARD SCARY!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    Hmm ... this is a tough one for me to review. I imagine that this will appeal to some kids more than others. Maybe young introverts would appreciate the detail. (I'm currently reading "Quiet" by Cain which is about introversion.) Instead of using a book to introduce vocabulary; I usually build on our real-world experiences. After I've looked at this with some young children, I may want to revise this review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dieschokolade

    This is my most favorite book ever! My father bought me this book since I was so young that I cannot remember a thing. As far as I can remember, I always carry this book with me in my early childhood. I always have this book on my shelf until now. It's on the spot that I can reach everytime I want to open it. I suppose I'll never get bored of this beloved book! It taught me to read and write. Moreover, it taught me to draw. The great inspiration for me to learn art.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Very educational.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Knight

    Richard Scarry's books are classics. They have delightful illustrations that are full of color and movement; in fact, his page spreads are unlike other picture books. His have many busy scenes happening all at once. It might take a page or two before your eye and mind adjust. And you don't really read Scarry's books for a story either. They're more discovery and exploration books - so make sure you have time to take it all in. Don't have an agenda with where each page will go, just enjoy soaking Richard Scarry's books are classics. They have delightful illustrations that are full of color and movement; in fact, his page spreads are unlike other picture books. His have many busy scenes happening all at once. It might take a page or two before your eye and mind adjust. And you don't really read Scarry's books for a story either. They're more discovery and exploration books - so make sure you have time to take it all in. Don't have an agenda with where each page will go, just enjoy soaking in what you see, even if you miss some stuff. Everything will be there for you to discover the next time! Ages: 3 - 7 Cleanliness: It shows how bears get dressed in the morning, including a drawing of their underwear. One picture shows a window in a shop with a wizard's costume. On the holiday spread, it shows Halloween and Christmas: includes ghost, skeleton, witch, jack-o-lantern, Santa Clause and tree. **Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book Radar.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    When I was four and a half, I taught myself how to read and write with Richard Scarry books; I would make grocery lists featuring all the items from this book we should make sure to purchase; lots of fruit and sugar.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lala

    I love Richard Scarry books. They are dazzling with richly developed characters who do really funny things.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ty Powers

    Seeing the cover brings back a deluge of memories! This book started my lifelong fascination with animals dressed as humans. I like it if they talk, too.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    I dislike Scarry's style, I dislike the 50s gender roles, and I am disturbed beyond words to see a pig working as a butcher. The Offspring, however, both like this as toddlers.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessica López-Barkl

    Zia and I have been reading this book since last June (we're on our third go around - a page a day that I read each word four times). We have the Spanish/English version (but Goodreads, apparently, doesn't have that loaded into their system). I loved these books as a child, and I'm loving them as a parent. I find there are titles for items that I never even knew, that are drawn and translated in both languages for Zia and I to learn. It's crazy how much an adult with a terminal degree can learn Zia and I have been reading this book since last June (we're on our third go around - a page a day that I read each word four times). We have the Spanish/English version (but Goodreads, apparently, doesn't have that loaded into their system). I loved these books as a child, and I'm loving them as a parent. I find there are titles for items that I never even knew, that are drawn and translated in both languages for Zia and I to learn. It's crazy how much an adult with a terminal degree can learn from a children's book. I hypothesize that is probably true for most adults, but the hubris of a person with a terminal degree can be insidious... Anyway, there appears to be a French version, and then other books by him that are in German, as well. I might level Zia and I up to those other languages, eventually.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Wansack

    I enjoyed this picture book because its very engaging for children. The pictures are detailed and funny because they use animals like rabbits and bears. The pictures depict and explain different types of jobs and what people do in their daily lives. This is good for a child because it helps them develop a better understanding of daily life. I believe this to be important because it helps with cognitive development and social skills at and early age.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    This book is brilliant! Most word books just have you identify the objects but this one has a story to accompany the lessons and question prompts. My two year old really enjoys it and it's so good to see how his language is developing, each time we read it he is able to pick more out from the illustrations. I especially love how there are some really complex words in different categories so it's a book that shall grow with him. Have to say though, the pig buying bacon is a little odd!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Petrichor

    Bought this (in English) for a 3 year old German-speaking child to familiarize her with the concept of a different language and to give her a first few words in English. It certainly raised her interest. Mission accomplished :-) The drawings are just too cute!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melinda Christensen

    There is a word for practically every noun that can be seen in this book! That's what makes it so educational and entertaining for little ones! I love the pictures, so endearing! I don't know a child who wouldn't be entertained and amused by this fascinating book! Kudos for Richard Scarry!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    As a child I liked the pictures but never understood why I'd want to read a book of random words.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Goldfuss

    The nostalgia is strong with this one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pim

    I owe my English language skills to this book, loved it and I am passing it on to my child.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linda S

    Ok, if you are in the 2 and under set you will LOVE this book. If you are the reading adult, you may want to hide it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erika Mathews

    A favorite of toddlers. Keeps them entertained for a long time. :) Love the innocent, happy animal characters and the life lessons.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Bogus

    read through with my kids. I enjoyed seeing how things have changed over the years.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vcmc

    Classic Scarry- reassuring telling of a child's day with pictures full of interesting details and humour.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Samir Kagadkar

    Dense! Dense! Dense!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Asho

    If you have been following my son's book reviews over the years (or rather, the reviews I am writing for him until he is old enough to actually write) you may notice that it appears that we are reading significantly fewer books these days. In fact, we are clocking more reading time than ever, but there isn't much to record on Goodreads these days because we are basically reading the same handful of books over and over again. This book is one of them. My two-year-old is fascinated by this book. He If you have been following my son's book reviews over the years (or rather, the reviews I am writing for him until he is old enough to actually write) you may notice that it appears that we are reading significantly fewer books these days. In fact, we are clocking more reading time than ever, but there isn't much to record on Goodreads these days because we are basically reading the same handful of books over and over again. This book is one of them. My two-year-old is fascinated by this book. He doesn't love it as much as Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (his true obsession), but he really, really likes it. This was one of my favorites when I was a kid, too, so I can relate. I have fond memories of reading this book with my parents, and I can distinctly remember that each page felt immensely detailed and busy. My son is obviously having the same experience, because he'll just sit and look at a page for ages, asking me questions and repeating words as I say them to him. Yes, it is a little bit dated at this point. At one point my son said, "Was dat?" and I said, "It's a phone" and he looked at me like I was crazy because it was completely unlike any phone he had ever encountered. Still, this is a classic! It kept my son entertained on an airplane for ages while all the other toddlers on the flight were watching DVDs and playing on iPads. So if you are like me and are still interested in making sure your child knows how to entertain himself with something that doesn't involve a charger, this is a great book to try.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Larissa

    On the advice of a friend, I checked the Icelandic/Danish/English translation of this Richard Scarry classic out of the library. I remember reading this (in English, of course) when I was a kid, and now reading it again while I'm trying to learn Icelandic, I have a renewed appreciation for it. Some of the words are, I think, a little dated--I'm not just talking about the presence of TV antennas in the definitions--more words like "salt castor" instead of salt shaker or a "petticoat" being part o On the advice of a friend, I checked the Icelandic/Danish/English translation of this Richard Scarry classic out of the library. I remember reading this (in English, of course) when I was a kid, and now reading it again while I'm trying to learn Icelandic, I have a renewed appreciation for it. Some of the words are, I think, a little dated--I'm not just talking about the presence of TV antennas in the definitions--more words like "salt castor" instead of salt shaker or a "petticoat" being part of a little girl's dressing routine. But overall, the breadth of words is fantastic and the pictures are delightful. I even pulled this out the other day when I was working on a written assignment for class--I couldn't find the phrase for "to wash one's face" in a regular dictionary, but this one had it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robin Morris

    I remember having this book when I was young. I especially enjoyed looking at the pages of the cat family household and the Thanksgiving dinner meal. This book went with me everywhere for months. There are so many words and pictures and the active hustle and bustle of everyday living displayed in this book is captivating. You can always find some activity happening in the book that you hadn't noticed before. Each time you open the book there seems like you find something new. I had to have this I remember having this book when I was young. I especially enjoyed looking at the pages of the cat family household and the Thanksgiving dinner meal. This book went with me everywhere for months. There are so many words and pictures and the active hustle and bustle of everyday living displayed in this book is captivating. You can always find some activity happening in the book that you hadn't noticed before. Each time you open the book there seems like you find something new. I had to have this book as part of my children's collection of books. L.E. The learning extension would be to have each child label three items in the classroom. This would reinforce their recognition of the word and the spelling of that word.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    This is the revised edition of the book. There are some notable differences between the two, some dubiously good (there are more females... but you can tell that because bows were stuck on their heads, so not exactly a gain for feminism) and some probably not (the vocabulary was watered down). However, even with that in mind, this is an awesome book for the toddler and the early reader. There's labeled pictures of very close to everything under the sun, in categories, and there's extra text on ea This is the revised edition of the book. There are some notable differences between the two, some dubiously good (there are more females... but you can tell that because bows were stuck on their heads, so not exactly a gain for feminism) and some probably not (the vocabulary was watered down). However, even with that in mind, this is an awesome book for the toddler and the early reader. There's labeled pictures of very close to everything under the sun, in categories, and there's extra text on each page asking questions or asking the child to identify subcategories (for example, on the page of small things the reader is asked which of those things are commonly put on a wall - a great way for mom to get some quiet time while kiddo pores over the book!)

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