What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry
|What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Kimberly Saunders|
|Summary: This is a simply fantastic book for children. Entertaining with zany pictures that are rich in detail and full of mayhem and wonder, and clear simple text, this book is a worthy addition to any childhood bookshelf. Actually, I have to say this book is so good, it should be a crime for a child NOT to have it!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 64||Date: May 2005|
|Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books|
As its title suggests, the book is about what people do all day. Since different people all do different things, the book covers a lot of topics. The first section looks at Busy Town itself along the high street. This book truly shines with some of the best examples of Scarry's illustrations, as we see the town above ground, and below ground in intricate detail. We see the men digging tunnels and the underground pipes, street cleaners at work, and peeks into the bank and various shops as well as the fire department, doctor, dentist, and so on. All are clearly labelled and much fun is to be had after reading the narrative, looking at and discussing all the marvellous detail. As the book progresses, we get to see what Mummy does all day at home, what the farmer does, the door to door salesman, the policeman, the fireman, the blacksmith, the postmen, the ferry workers, and so on.
Each page again has illustrations of marvellous detail, with clear labels, and is so rich that at each reading, we find something new. The text itself is simple and straight forward, providing a mere commentary for the pictures, with the illustrations themselves being the star of the show, demonstrating what each person is doing all day clear until bedtime. We get cutaway views of each scene as appropriate, from the bit under the street, to inside the ship's hold, to the depths of a working coal mine.
Fun and educational, the anthropomorphized characters entertain, the illustrations enchant, and the breadth of the book educates in no other way I have ever seen in a children's book. I have seen no other book for children aged 3-8 that shows (albeit on a simplified scale) a working colliery that follows the work on to the electricity generating plant, a water treatment plant on to its delivery points including an irrigation system, highway roadworks from planning to completion, a day in the life of a policeman, a day in the life of a fireman, a child's visit to the hospital to have her tonsils out, an overnight trip on a train, a day in the life of forestry workers and those associated with their product, and so on. It even mentions how each person does the work to earn their place in society, with some working for money, and others through trade. It goes on to show that goods are purchased or traded for by the fruits of our labour, and sets the idea in motion that without work, nothing in the world would get done, and that work provides for our needs and wants as it allows us to pay for them.
Admittedly, it is a rather long picture book, being 64 pages, but it is divided up into little subsections that deal with each topic, so it quite possible to read only 1-2 topics of about 2-4 pages each and have a good look at the illustrations and talk about what we see in them without disrupting the flow of the book. The current edition is a large, sturdily bound book, and while the reading of a couple section a night makes for wonderfully bonding bedtime reading, it is also a great book for the pre and beginning reader to snuggle down with after to pore over the pictures for a bit before Mummy and Daddy turn out the lights.
We have found that this book inspires thought in our four year old and his six year old sister as they look about them in real life, and comment on what they see workers doing, and even what will happen in the future, one example being when we saw roadworks signs go up. Before, they knew it meant there would be diggers and rollers and men in vests and hard hats and so on. Now they can discuss in detail what will happen right down to painting the lines, and it is all down to this book. It is like a window into the world of work and people's lives at work, with the hows and whys simply explained, and how what they do is relevant to everyone about them. It absolutely feeds the insatiable curiosity that children have about the world. It is a book my children pick up again and again, and I have no doubt it has made a lasting impression on them for years to come. Admittedly, it was purchased as myself and my husband both fondly recalled this book from our own childhoods and the sense of wonder we felt at the illustrations and the satisfying ease of the questions we did not even know how to ask got answered, so we asked the children about their thoughts on the book.
My four year old son said I love the pictures in this book. I can see all the machines and how they do all the work with the people. It is very exciting to see the men and the tools go down the manhole and work under the road, and I also really like seeing the train station and its workers and then the family on the train. The pictures are funny too, with gorillas dropping their bananas and a little bug driving a toy digger to make the big road. I think little boys should all read this book.
It's not just for boys though as my six-year-old daughter explained what she enjoyed: The words are easy to read in this book, and I like how I can put my bookmark in it to read about more jobs and stuff more people do after I finish one of the other stories. I like seeing all the jobs and how I see lots of girls doing jobs with the boys and it is very real to me. I like the pictures too, they are very funny with lots of silly things like a buffalo car in them. I think girls and boys will all love this book and all kids should have it.
The bottom line is, this is a simply fantastic book for children. Entertaining with zany pictures that are rich in detail and full of mayhem and wonder, and clear simple text, this book is a worthy addition to any childhood bookshelf. Actually, I have to say this book is so good, it should be a crime for a child NOT to have it!
You might also enjoy the confusingly-titled Paul Smith for Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry. Slightly older children might enjoy The Human Machine by Richard Walker.
You can read more book reviews or buy What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.