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on July 14, 2004
Wish I could give this 10 stars. I discovered this book as a preschooler in 1968. My mom would take me to the local library every week. I checked it out from the library and I was hooked. I wanted to check it out at every visit, so my mom had the library order a copy for me. I remember even before I could read the words, I completely understood the story from the illustrations. I still have that original edition. It is tatered but still intact. I bought another copy this year for my preschool sons. They absolutely love it as well as the other Scarry book I had as a child, Busy Busy World. The newer book is the abridged edition. The abridged edition has 63 pages as compared to the ~95 pages in the original. They removed 4 stories from the original: busy (stay at home) mom, water treatment plants, electricity and how we get it, and Sgt. Murphy the Busytown policeman. Why? Somebody at the publisher must have had a lobotomy. Anyway, we keep the original up in a closet to read only with adult supervision. The new one is on the shelf, readily accesible to the kids.
This book (even the abridged edition) is an absolute classic.
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on April 11, 2004
This really is an excellent book, but if your memories are of the complete 96 page edition, you may be dissapointed in this 64 page abridged version. Losing about 1/3 of the excellent stories is a bit sad. Huckle's plane trip for example is not present.
What is left is really excellent, but what was cut was great too.
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on March 28, 2005
This book is incredible, hence the 5 stars, but I ABHOR the abridged version and long for the pieces that were cut. Why is this the only version being foisted 'pon us??
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on February 3, 2010
Why would you abridge Richard Scarry? I was shocked to find this book much thinner than the version I remember from childhood, and the writing has been "updated" as well. Really a shame, and a shabby way to treat a wonderful children's classic.
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on May 25, 2000
"What Do People Do All Day" is really a one-of-a-kind book. As a toddler and older child, I was enthralled by Scarry's colorful and highly detailed pictures and his fun characters, and I especially recall the sections on water treatment and electrical power generation. This book, unlike any other, certainly stimulated my early interest in a career. Speaking from experience, a kid can spend hours poring through this book, and he can remember details from it for years. Unfortunately, it seems that a few boneheads at the publisher don't share my exceptional feelings for the book and have abridged it, removing the two sections I have mentioned and more. Shame on them!
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Set in Scarry's Busytown, this busy, colorful book is organized into eleven chapters that examine its citizens' jobs: Everyone is a worker; Building a new house; Mailing a letter; Firemen to the rescue; A visit to the hospital; The train trip; The story of seeds and how they grow; Wood and how we use it; Building a new road; A voyage on a ship; and, Where bread comes from.
Effective use of color and cross-sections can be confusing for very young kids, but is informative and enjoyable for the curious, and the funny pictures appeal to all. Also, everything is labelled, which is very nice for beginning readers.
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on August 30, 2010
Warning, this is not the original book...and it suffers as a result

The "thought police" have removed the "offensive" sections. One was about a stay at home mom (clearly sexist), One was about a policeman arresting a gorilla (clearly racist), one was about a cat that barges into the cockpit of an airplane (terrorism!), and the other two were I believe about cotton manufacture and water treatment (possibly just too booring <grin>).

If I were you, I would try to hunt down the original version, there is no replacement. I have the original, and my son's favorite part is looking at all the characters from the book on the inside covers, something that is also missing on this newer abridged version.
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on September 20, 2007
The New Ed is also abridged, even though it doesn't say so in the title. The abridged versions have 64 pages--the original version has 95 pages. If you are looking for the original version, check the page count before you order.
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on October 17, 2008
I bought this book thinking that even though it was abridged it would be as great as the original version. Boy was I wrong, some of the most entertaining and interesting parts of the book are GONE!
It was absolutely heartbreaking. I don't know why the publishers have altered a wonderful book leaving it hollow and less interesting than it should be. Do yourself a favor, find an original edition on ebay or half.com . You'll be much happier.
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on May 12, 2008
I got this one as a child, back in the sixties. My copy is in Dutch and although a little weathered it's not falling apart yet.
The copy I'm reviewing here is a reprint that misses several spreads, but sad though it may be, if you don't know about it you won't miss it.
Richard Scarry shows different "people" (animals in clothes), all kinds of professions, how they interact and how one depends on the other. And in doing so he introduces a child to society where we all depend on one another.
More than anything else he was responsible that I grew up to be free minded and open spirited person. Whatever a human being does for a living, if he/she does it with love he will make your day.
A policeman, a baker, a newspaper man, a writer, photographer or singer, the postman, the bus driver. We all depend on one another. And as long as we try our best to understand that and accept and respect our fellow citizens we will be on the right path.
His drawings are world famous. They're sweet and funny without being too simplistic. No matter what family, the rabbits, the mice or the pigs, even the worm, they're all lovely characters with different personalities.
It has always been my first choice as a gift for kids.
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