Richard Scarry, the prolific children’s book author who has created more than 300 books since 1949, has quietly been updating his work to ensure that it would be acceptable for modern audiences. Since the 1950s, our understanding of gender roles and ethnic relationships has changed, and Scarry has done a great job of ensuring that the children who love his books wouldn’t be influenced by outdated gender norms.
The subtle changes were noticed by Alan Taylor, a senior photo editor at The Atlantic who loved Scarry’s books as a child and noticed the changes in his own kids’ books. What do you think about the changes Scarry has made?
Richard Scarry’s “Best Word Book Ever” has changed a lot since 1963
Dad can cook, too!
Flight personnel requirements have become more open
Firefighters will save people no matter their gender or appearance
Men can make their own breakfasts, too
The playground has become a bit more diverse
Cowboys and “Indians” have been removed
Gender-specific occupation names have been changed
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