Thankful Thursday: Richard Scarry

Mother Pig. Grocer Cat. Farmer Alfalfa. Lowly Worm.

Didn't you love this book?

Richard Scarry's wonderfully busy and oversized What Do People Do All Day? taught me to delight in life's details.

Published in 1968, Busytown was bustling and I was whisked into a world in which illustrations and text were energetically entwined in vignettes of endearing anthropomorphic animals building houses, sailing ships, flying planes, keeping house, growing food, and more.

This classic encouraged inquiry: What do you do? How do you do it? Coupled with Joan and Roger Bradfield's Who Are You?, my life as a writer — probing, poking, pondering — is rooted in these, my first books.

Scarry wrote and illustrated more than 250 books. By the time he died in 1994, he'd sold 100 million books worldwide. Over the years, his works have been updated to reflect changing social values, an alteration that is occupying original readers and increasing the value of the first editions.

Can a book change your life? Maybe not. But as a child I spent hours poring over Scarry's sprawling work, learning words and worlds. This book shaped my mind and, in turn, my life. Thank you Richard Scarry. Thank you.

It's Thankful Thursday. Please join me in a weekly pause to express appreciation for people, places, books and more. What are you thankful for today?