Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mercer Mayer and Richard Scarry

Mercer Mayer's Little Critter and Richard Scarry's Lowly Worm were characters I looked forward to meeting again and again during nightly storytime as a child.  And now they are favorites of my children.  If you are not familiar with these classic authors, head to the library!  Their timeless charm, accessibility, and pure silliness will win you over.  Here are a smattering of what these authors have to offer.

Richard Scarry was both author and illustrator, publishing books for children mainly in the 1960s and '70s.  Many of his books are short story collections, which is an unusual format for children's picture books.  Scarry's unique style and repeating characters make his books easy to identify.  Eager hands pluck them off the shelf!  His stories are busy, outrageous, and utterly nonsensical, which kids love.  Even without the story, there is so much to see on every oversized page that children can spend hours naming all the objects and people they see depicted.   Lowly Worm (as an adult I get how funny his name is!) was one of my favorite characters.

“I'm not interested in creating a book that is read once and then placed on the shelf and forgotten. I am very happy when people have worn out my books, or that they're held together by Scotch tape.”
Richard Scarry

Mercer Mayer began illustrating in 1966.  His first published book, A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog, in 1967, was a wordless picture book.  Mayer is credited with being one of the first to use this format. He created five more books in this series.  The Little Critter and Little Monster books became huge hits and the Little Critter series continues to this day in the form of Early Reader books.  Check out the official Little Critter website for activities and stories read by Mercer Mayer!

There's A Nightmare In My Closet resonates with children, who often fear the dark and shadowy places in their room once the lights are out. Of course, there is a surprise ending!

Little Critter has a vivid imagination and tries to be's just that things don't usually go the way he planned. Very endearing, children and parents can relate to Little Critter's antics! Here are some of the favorites in my house:


1 comment:

  1. I have great memories of Richard scarry's books too!