19 November 2014

What Do People Do All Day?

Lowly, Huckle and friends
Earlier this week, the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML made her way across the border to MA with a friend of hers to go to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Of course, Mr Carle is the author - illustrator of the beloved 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar.' While exploring the little museum, SML happened upon one room and found the illustration above. She took the picture you see above and texted it to me. As soon as I saw it, I was flooded in emotions. I sat at my Midtown desk, sporting a huge grin and allowing a couple of tears to roll down my face.


Most certainly, if you are of a certain age, you recognize that worm and that leiderhosen-sporting cat. It's Lowly and Huckle, two of the beloved characters of author - illustrator Richard Scarry. Seeing those two so beautifully drawn is what triggered those emotions when I saw the picture. As a child, I loved, loved, loved these characters and the works of Mr Scarry. His magnum opus, in my opinion, 'What Do People Do All Day?' was first published in 1968, and I'm quite certain it took a place on my childhood bookshelf very quickly. Although I cannot remember when I first read it, I have vivid memories even now of paging through this book time and again as a young reader. Huckle and his friends were easy to connect with and this book in particular was so exciting to a young child. It allowed you to see what adults did after they left the house in the morning. It was wonderful and it is one of those books that made me a reader.

Once I became a father, this book was one I delighted in reading to my children. I'm not quite certain it had the same impact on them that it did me but I'm fine with that. They all emerged as readers in their own ways. I am so glad that when we got married all those many years ago that SML brought a list of children's literature that she wanted to make a part of the lives of our children. I'm glad that that her aunt, J, turned us on to early reading techniques that helped instill a love of the written word in them as well.

One of the payoffs for a word nerd/reader like me has been trading books with my children now that they are adults. Discussing books we've read has been a joy for me. And to think, I've got a worm and a cat to thank for a lot of that!

No comments: