What’s up in Busytown on Earth Day?

Richard Scarry’s Busytown lies at the heart of the sustainability challenge. We lose sight of that fact at our peril.

I’ve been reflecting a lot, lately, about Busytown, the cartoon city full of animals-standing-in-for-people that Richard Scarry created as the setting for books like What Do People Do All Day? and Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. I first read these books as a small child in the 1970s, and they fascinated me. Forty years later I had the chance to read them, again, with my son, Jay. I still remembered many of the characters and the stories. Except I also vividly recalled stories that didn’t seem to exist, like a banana heist and work at various places like the water purification plant, coal mine, power plant, and airport. After some on-and-off detective work, I discovered, from 1974–2015, the only edition of What Do People Do All Day?that Golden Books printed was abridged. Fortunately, Ebay came to the rescue, and I was able to buy a used copy of the unabridged 1968 edition. My brain wasn’t just making things up. There were all the stories I remembered.

Read the rest of the essay in Designing in Sunlight, our new magazine at Medium.com: https://medium.com/designing-in-sunlight/whats-up-on-earth-day-in-busytown-4c3204e2e6af

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