Jesse Marinoff Reyes ( Jesse Marinoff Reyes Design, Maplewood, N.J.)

Richard Scarry (1919-1994)!

Jesse Marinoff Reyes....

The prolific children’s book artist may be better known (slightly) to contemporary eyes with his “Busytown” line art-cartoon style (currently being seen in the animation style for Richard Scarry’s Busytown Mysteries on CBS Saturday Morning television), but his earlier, fully painted works for Little Golden are a delight from his debut with The Little Miners in 1949 though dozens of fairy tales and especially animal stories like Duck and His Friends (1949), Pierre Bear (1954), Chicken Little (1960), The Country Mouse and the City Mouse (1961), and the absolutely enchanting I Am A Bunny (1964).

…One other note, Richard’s son (also goes by Richard) does children’s books in his father’s Busyworld line style as a continuation of the “brand.” Pretty exacting, but critics complain it lacks the father’s wit and nuance (no surprise there).

In 1997, Harry Abrams published a sort of monograph, more of a career overview, The Busy, Busy World of Richard Scarry (by Walter Retan and Ole Risom), which details his oeuvre more definitively (so you can discern his works from what came after, and what works of his were bowdlerized by Golden when he left for Random House—and before RH acquired Golden in a merger/purchase).

Also, a terrific history of Golden was published by Random House in 2007—on the occasion of Golden’s 65th anniversary—Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing History, and became an American Icon Along the Way (by Leonard S. Marcus). Lavishly illustrated and detailed.

The Gingerbread Man
Little Golden Books/Golden Press, 1961 “B-edition” (different cover from the 1953 “A-edition”)
Illustration: Richard Scarry

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