What I think is perhaps the most remarkable thing about his books is that they are timeless, and know no borders. His funny animal characters are equally loved by children anywhere on the planet, and the books he did some 30, 40, even 50 years ago are still being published today. Many parents who read these books to their children today, were read these same books by their parents when they were children.
Certainly this is the best testimony to the quality of one’s work. My father would often say that the greatest compliment was to find a copy of one of his books, the spine broken, the pages torn, the covers bumped with softened corners, the book held together with transparent tape: the telltale signs of a book that is loved, and read over and over and over again.
I was born in 1953. Just like my father, I was always drawing, and I attended a graphic-arts school in Switzerland. Often I would assist Dad when it came to colouring-up his finished drawings. So, after my father’s passing in 1994, I decided to continue creating new books for his charming and funny characters.
Recently I came across sketches done by my father for a book centred around Lowly Worm, but never published. So the book that is being published by HarperCollins was written and sketched by my father, and finished and coloured by me ! Oh, and I also live in the little chalet in Gstaad, as well as in Vienna, with my family.
..and a few words from a big fan…
Oliver Jeffers, Author/Illustrator of Stuck and This Moose Belongs to Me
‘Richard Scarry largely informed my childhood. From such an identifiable and unique world that he created, my own love of background detail, and separate stories can be quite clearly traced back to a love of his work. I’d spend hours poring over each scene in the busy worlds he created, trying to find as many stories within them as I could. Looking back on it, I also owe a huge amount to him for the way I draw shapes, props, and even shadows.’