• Female Officer, not Policeman
  • Dad inserted into kitchen.
  • Mrs. Farmer now, not Scarecrow
  • Sister in bathroom, not brother
  • Cautioned driver now a lighter colored fur (?).
  • Father and Sister out with Baby, not Mom & Son
  • Bunny Eyes all have pupils now, not all-black.
  • Fire Fighter, not Fireman - and what's with the new hat?
  • "F.D." removed for some reason
  • New stove.
  • Mailman no more - now a Letter Carrier.

Best Word Book Ever - Cover

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(1963 on left, 1991 on right)

Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever, 1963 vs 1991 editions (with revisions). The 1963 edition is my own, bought for me in the late 60's when I was a toddler, and read to tatters. The 1991 edition belongs to my kids today. I was so familar with the older one that I immediately started noticing a few differences, and so have catalogued 10 of the more interesting differences here in this collection.

Ariel Cat, inky, hogweed, and 260 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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  1. edebruyn 77 months ago | reply

    The Dutch version has the original un-PC drawings but the helmets have changed and FD is gone.

  2. Kumitey 76 months ago | reply

    Great comparasion! :)

  3. kizmut 76 months ago | reply

    I believe the yellow door mat is symbolic of man's struggle against the indifference of the establishment and the missing firehydrant represents the visible lack of presence of our own defenses on home soil.

  4. Halloweenville 76 months ago | reply

    that was awesome. thank you

  5. yorum83 71 months ago | reply

    So THAT'S what the plan is. Thanks so much for sharing.
    www.orguleri.com

  6. nikkirosety 69 months ago | reply

    I wish they still showed this show on Nick Jr.

  7. greynotgrey [deleted] 66 months ago | reply

    I'd love to find out who to write to at the publisher to complain - I don't mind updating the characters and text, but I very much mind the incredibly inferior drawing and colouring styles. It's so easy to spot the "changes" on each change that it's almost funny - all you have to do is look for the drawings that aren't "finished".

    I grew up with the 1965 version and just bought the new edition for my daughter... I'm frankly disappointed.

  8. sergemo 65 months ago | reply

    Thank you for this, it was fascinating! I loved these books as a child.

  9. mayasmommy 62 months ago | reply

    Thanks for this fascinating comparison. This was my favorite book growing up in the '70s...in India. A lot of things didn't make sense but I loved it anyway.

    They have removed 21 pages from the new edition I just bought for my daughter. I noticed the garden page with all the flowers is missing but can't remember what else. And like greynotgrey says, it's just incredibly inferior somehow. So sad.

  10. lucidcats 61 months ago | reply

    Nice Catch ;-)
    Your very Clever!

  11. WaitAMinuteChester 60 months ago | reply

    This is tremendous, but there's one I'm dying to know and I can't check because I can't find my old copy. Being as this is not only a word book, but the best word book ever with words describing ever little nook & cranny, I'm amazed when turned to the airport page. The largest object on the page is the helicopter, dead center, but it doesn't have a word for it! Was this true of the original version too? I was wondering if the PC editors were concerned about "hell" being pronounced at the beginning of the word...

  12. philipj.simpson 45 months ago | reply

    Being a child of the seventies, the one on the right is more like mine colour wise.

  13. Thistle Dubh 44 months ago | reply

    The racoon in the car has been made lighter because of PC madness. The earlier version, being black and with big eyes could be open to claims of racism by some nutters. Mkuplens, the name of the Fat Controller was always Sir Topham Hatt in the original Thomas books by Rev Awdry but I take your point. I do know one Council in England banned Thomas books for being sexist - because the carriages had female names but the engines had male names. What they didn't realise is that Thomas is based on actual railway practise, including British Pullman coaches having female names. What is the difference between a mailman and a letter carrier?

  14. Ned Trifle 43 months ago | reply

    A mailman can only by a man, a letter carrier can be either.

    As for Thomas, of course, just because British Rail did something doesn't mean it wasn't sexist! Actually I don't think the West Midlands County Council (who I think you're talking about) actually "banned" anything. If memory serves me (and it might not - it was about 25 years ago) - the council had a report from their education department suggesting it was, but that nothing was ever put into practice.

    Anyway...back to the photo!
    Fascinating stuff. I saw it via Sociological Images.

  15. Thistle Dubh 43 months ago | reply

    It wasn't British Rail. It goes right back to the inception of Pullman Cars. Everything in Thomas the Tank Engine is based on real life engines and carriages. As for the letter carrier, why not just say postal worker? Must be a US cultural difference.

  16. lizzard_nyc 40 months ago | reply

    Oh I love Richard Scarry--great comparison.
    I just linked your link to this for my latest flickr upload.
    I live in NYC and sometimes feel like I'm living in a Richar Scarry book. I googled his book for a comparison, and found your link.
    Thank you.

  17. minimatika - now also on ipernity 32 months ago | reply

    what did the A mean on the milk bottle in 1963 and where has it gone?

  18. Ned Trifle 32 months ago | reply

    Scarry was clearly trying to push Cleopatra's choice of bathing liquid in the earlier editions.

  19. syd2014 23 months ago | reply

    Guys, I had this book as a child in early 80's, but was unable to remember about it's name. Found it back, totally randomly, on internet, a few days ago. Less that 1 hour later, i bought it for my son. At first I wanted to get the 1978 edition I had, but it was like 80€ (100USD) ... so I just bought the latest edition from 2010. And you know what ? Here in France, we don't have all those changes. It's just like the previous books. We have the Far-West, indians, and all the other things. There is no jewish thing on the christmas page. OK, the book then lacks some egality between sexs. But i noticed we have some different jobs on the grow-up pages : conductor in the train is the same fox, but as a potter, soldier is a baker ... Must try to see if it's some recent changes, by comparing to the previous french editions (if I can). Oh, and it's now french + english word book ! So very useful to the parents too :D

  20. mayasmommy 18 months ago | reply

    syd2014, can you share your source where you bought your 2010 edition? My daughter started kindergarten in French Immersion school and it would be awesome to have this book with French and English words! (My French is very rudimentary). Thanks.

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