A “Scarry” Rainy Day
One of my favorite books for children, ages 2-10, is Richard Scarry’s, Cars and Trucks and Things that Go. The book has been around since my son was little, and now, he’s 31. I remember reading it to Eric when he was three. He loved it then and his three-year-old son loves it now.
On days that I have the pleasure of babysitting him, Andy climbs up on my lap and I open the book. A car full of pigs is going on a picnic, and they see a variety of vehicles while on the road. Colorful illustrations of vehicles from the last two centuries, as well as hilarious renditions of crazy cheese cars, hot dog cars, and shark cars, to name a few, putter across the pages from left to right and top to bottom.
“What kind of car is that?” Andy asks repeatedly, as his finger hops from vehicle to vehicle.
We discuss each one. He and I easily spend an hour or more pouring over the book in one sitting. I’m glad there isn’t much writing. This allows for the fun of discussing the modes of transportation and finding the elusive little gold bug who hides on every page.
Finding the gold bug’s wide eyes peeking out from somewhere is half the fun in the book. Andy and I even made up a gold bug song to sing as we move to each new page:
Gold bug, gold bug, where could you be?
Gold bug, gold bug, looking at me.
Both Andy and I scan the pages with eagle eyes trying to locate the tiny gold bug. Sometimes he’s hiding in a vehicle, or driving his own tiny car. Once he was on the corner of a page reading a book, but he’s always in a place least expected.
The vehicles include many types of cars, buses, trains, planes, jeeps, tanks, and construction trucks. Andy wants to know what each one does. We discuss all of this and then we extrapolate to where we might have seen the vehicles in real life, and if some of them even exist.
“Is there such a thing as a pickle car?” I ask Andy musically.
Then I say, “If you ever see a pickle car going down the road, make sure to have Mommy or Daddy call me right away, because I want to see it!”
That always elicits more giggles from Andy. “There’s no such thing as a pickle car!” he says.
More fun things about the book are the silly animals, such as pigs, goats, and rhinos, driving the vehicles. We laugh and carry on about the possibility of those crazy animals driving. There’s so much fun to be had in this one book, that often, Andy is ready for a nap when we finish.
Cold winter days and rainy spring and fall ones, when going outside to play is impossible, it’s nice to have quiet fun that lasts and lasts. Richard Scarry must have had quite an imagination to make this fun-filled book. I was sad to learn that he died in 1994. His legacy of books children love will live on for generations.
Deb Gardner Allard is a writer of books & stories for children. She has a B.S. degree in psychology and is a retired registered nurse. Her book, “Izzy and the Real! Truth About Moose Boy,” a book for 3rd through 5th graders, encourages children to talk about the difference between teasing and bullying while reading about the pranks of Moose Boy. The book can be purchased through Barnes & Noble.com, Amazon.com and most other venues. Deb enjoys blogging about children, as well. Visit her website at www.debgardnerallard.com.
Pictures of Andy reading his favorite Richard Scarry book were taken by Lindsay Allard. Thank you Lindsay for the neat pictures!