Changes to classic Richard Scarry book

I’ve discovered an interesting comparison between 1963 and 1980/1991 editions of Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever posted on the website Sociological Images.

Apparently it’s easy to get outraged about “bowdlerization” of the classics and the perceived crimes of “PCness” (read the endless comments!… no, don’t), but one must remember that this is a reference book, a word book teaching vocabulary, and its purpose is not compromised in the least by these changes. (It’s not like an actual plot is being changed or anything, since there is no plot.) The only loss is a bit of the humour (the “beautiful screaming lady” in the burning house I thought was kind of funny).

Still, it is an interesting exercise to see exactly what has been changed and how. The gender changes accomplished simply through the addition of a hair ribbon I particularly liked.

For the original, more detailed comparison on Alan Taylor’s Flickr stream, go here. (Alan’s comparison was done between the 1963 and 1991 editions, though several comments mention that the 1980 version is the same as the 1991.)


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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.
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