Richard Scarry


Real Name
Richard Scarry
Year of Birth
June 5, 1919
Place of Birth
Official Website
Year of Death
April 30, 1994

Richard McClure Scarry (June 5, 1919 – April 30, 1994), last name pronounced SKA REE , which is an Irish surname, hailing from County Galway on the west coast of Ireland. He was an enormously popular American children's author and illustrator who published over 300 books with total sales of 300 million worldwide.


He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where his parents ran a shop. The Scarry family enjoyed a comfortable life even during the time of the Great Depression. Following high school graduation, Scarry enrolled in a business college but soon dropped out, finding it not to his liking. He then studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he remained until being drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II.

Following the war, Scarry worked for the art departments of various magazines before making a career breakthrough in 1949 with Little Golden Books.

Busytown breakthrough

His most famous series of books was about Busytown.

Scarry's characters are almost always anthropomorphic animals. His books have been popular with children throughout the world. Over 100 million copies of his books have been sold, and they've been translated into 30 languages.

While his books are largely populated by common animal species. In the 1980s and '90s, many of his "Best Ever" series of books were converted into very popular animated videos, which are still available on DVD and VHS. Some of these animated films include Richard Scarry's Best Silly Stories and Songs Videos Ever and The Busiest Firefighters Ever. The Busytown books were also adapted into an animated series, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, which ran on Nick Jr. from 1995 to 2000. Busytown was also featured at the Carnegie Science Center from June 13 through September 8, 2002 in an interactive exhibit entitled "Richard Scarry's Busytown."

Titles reprinted in recent years have been significantly condensed from their original versions.

His titles include the following:

Beginner Books by Richard Scarry:

Bright and Early Books by Richard Scarry:

Personal life and family

In 1972, Scarry bought a chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland. Here he founded his studio where he spent most of the day (from about 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) writing and illustrating his books. His studio contained a single desk, lamp and chair. His wife, Patricia, was told not to bother him except for his hour break for lunch.

His wife Patricia Scarry (née Murphy), was a writer of children's textbooks who met Richard during collaboration when he was a textbook illustrator. She is credited with writing many of the stories in his subsequent children's books, such as Good Night, Little Bear, The Bunny Book, and The Fishing Cat.

His son, Richard Scarry Jr., is also an illustrator, sometimes working under his nickname, Huck Scarry, sometimes working in his father's style as "Richard Scarry". Huck is the nickname of Huckle Cat, one of the most commonly recurring Busytown characters.

Huck lives in Vienna, Austria; socialite Olympia Scarry is his daughter.


Richard Scarry's Busytown

Richard Scarry's Busytown

Sega Genesis title screen of Richard Scarry's Busytownpx

1975 version
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1993 version
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1994 version
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1999 version
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  • How to Play
  • The Daily Eagle
  • Huckles Donut Shop and Car
  • The Music Shop
  • The Delivery Truck
  • The Fire Station
  • Bruno's Deli
  • Captain Salty
  • The Wind
  • Building a House
  • TV1
  • The See-Saw
  • Bananas Gorilla
  • The Gas Station
  • Mr. Fixit
  • Busy Tunes
  • Dr. Diane
  • Flower Shop




Creator Gallery

Richard Scarry Gallery


External links

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