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Richard Scarry's Biggest Word Book Ever! Board book – Large Print, August 12, 1985

4.8 out of 5 stars 544 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The latest by the author-illustrator of consistent bestsellers is as tall as a toddler, the only two-foot book ever published in this country for children. Scarry packs countless, full-color pictures of his familiar characters on the wide pages, each perky creature identified by a short word or phrase. As a giant dictionary and amusement, the book is a can't-fail item for small boys and girls. It is strongly constructed and can stand up to years of use.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

PRAISE FOR RICHARD SCARRY: 'A favourite of children for generations' Junior magazine 'Enchanting and inspiring' TES --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Board book: 14 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Big edition (August 12, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394873742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394873749
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 0.4 x 24 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (544 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jon Schwabach on June 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I wrote this for the Unabridged edition, but I thought it would be useful to post it here as well:

A few notes on the differences between the unabridged "1400 Objects" edition of Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever, published 1963-1979 vs. the later 1980- "Revised" version. (Note not all post 1980 printings include the word revised on the cover, but they are all the revised edition.)

Golden books asked for a the late edit, which consists of three basic changes:
1. Political correctness, more animals are made "female" by attaching bows to their illustrations in the later edition.
2. 20 pages were removed, and lighter weight paper was used, to reduce printing costs.
3. Complexity of the vocabulary was reduced.

Someone noted the price difference, demand for the longer and more complex original exceeds supply, as it is out of print, and not likely to reappear.

While both versions are fine books, and an asset to any child's library, those seeking a cheaper book may seek the edited 70 page Abridged edition (anything 1980 or later,) but parents with the budget to cover it would probably want to consider the original, which goes more in depth.

A brief example to illustrate the point. Both editions have a section on art, describing colors and how they mix, paints, crayons, pencils and erasers. The later edition stops here. The earlier "Unabridged" goes on to introduce artists, sketches, canvas, murals, finger painting, still lifes, models, palletes, etc.

This wider reach of vocabulary and concepts is thematic of the 20 pages which were removed in the 1980 edit. The later edition still makes a fine starter and welcome edition to any child's library.
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Format: Hardcover
I had the book when I was little (we called it Big Book). When I bought it for my son recently, I had the feeling that I remembered pages that weren't there: birds, flowers, buildings. I hunted up my old copy and sure enough, there were quite a few pages missing in the newer book. But nowhere in Joey's book does it say it's a revised edition! What's in the book is great, but I can't get rid of the feeling that we got gypped!
Another problem with the book is that it's not bound very well. All our Richard Scarry books seem to fall apart at the spine in very short order. It's true we read them constantly, but we read other books as often, and they don't fall apart as quickly.
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By A Customer on May 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever was a favorite in our family when we were growing up in the 1970's. I bought a new book to share with my one-year-old daughter and it has become one of her favorites. She will page through the book on her own, pointing at different objects in the book and naming them.
My big complaint is that the editors have made extensive changes to the original book. Not only are many pages missing, but there has been a great effort to change artwork and characters in deference to political correctness. Where I thought many of the original characters could be thought to be either male or female, the editors have decided that there were not enough characters that were obviously female, so they have gone back and stuck bows on their heads. It seems they fear that kids will think that women can't work in construction unless they depict a bear with a bow stuck to her head driving a roller. While I believe that little girls can dream of doing any of these occupations, I don't think you need a bow in your hair to be female and I don't think you need to mess with the author's original classic illustrations.
Of course, my daughter is not comparing the book to a previous superior version; she just loves it as it is.
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Format: Hardcover
I think I could highly recommend all of Richard Scarry's books, but this is a one of the classics. This is the book I most identify with Richard Scarry. A large book with loads of things on every page - all with the word underneath. In addition, the cover has numbers to 20 and the letters of the alphabet all with the appropriate corresponding items. This more than anything taught my son not only how to count but what numbers actually mean. I am now buying our second copy; our first is missing it's cover and is torn on many pages. My son is almost 4 years old and has been "reading" this book since he was 9 months old (to himself)! Both he and my husband are big Richard Scarry fans and have converted me. I am buying this book again to begin teaching my son to read.
I highly recommend this book for children from babies to early school age. I don't know a child in my family who doesn't love it!
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Format: Hardcover
RICHARD SCARRY'S BEST WORD BOOK EVER is just that, the best word book ever for young children. Hundreds of words used in everyday langauge are represented in this fun, first dictionary.
Scarry's Busy Town characters introduce chidren to the world of words. Each page is dedicated to a different category of words such as "Tools", "At The Playground", and "At The Supermarket". Also included are the ABC's, number words, and words for parts of the human body.
Oprah Winfrey recently chose this book as one of the books she would recommend for children learning to read. I think this book is essential for every child's library. It is Terrific!
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