Nearly 20 years after his death, a new Lowly Worm book by illustrator Richard Scarry is published.
Nearly 20 years after the illustrator's
death, a new Richard Scarry book has
been published focusing on the long-
running character of Lowly Worm.
Illustrated by US author Richard Scarry,
it was completed by his son Huck after
he uncovered the sketches among his
father's belongings, following his death
in 1994, aged 74.
Lowly Worm, and his signature Tyrolean
hat, was one of the popular characters
of Richard Scarry's Busytown. His best
friend was Huckle Cat, who was inspired
by Richard Scarry's own son, Huck.
Huckle also wore Swiss dress, in his case
Lederhosen, a nod to Scarry's adopted
hometown Gstaad, where the family lived
from 1972 onwards.
Richard Scarry, who studied at the
School of the Museum of Fine Arts in
Boston, insisted that educational books
could be fun too. He said: "Everything
has an educational value if you look for
it. But it’s the fun I want to get across."
His books, which have sold more than
300m copies and have been translated
into 28 languages, have remained
popular for more than 50 years.
Richard Scarry's son, Huck - also an art
school graduate - would often help his
father to complete his drawings. When
Scarry died in 1994, Huck continued
creating new books featuring the much-
loved characters of Busytown. "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," said Huck.
This year Richard Scarry's Best Word
Book Ever celebrates its 50th
anniversary. Published in 1963, it began
to draw criticism in later years for old-
fashioned sexual stereotyping, which saw
female characters relegated to doing the
housework. Scarry responded by revising
the earlier edition to include female
farmers and mechanics and men running
Scarry received no awards for his work
during his lifetime, but was
posthumously awarded a Lifetime
Achievement Award from The Society of
Illustrators in 2012. "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," said his son.