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What Do People Do All Day?
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What Do People Do All Day?

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  11,925 ratings  ·  239 reviews
Everyone is busy in Busytown - from train drivers to doctors, from mothers to sailors, in police stations and on fire engines. Follow lots of busy people working through their busy days.

With plenty to spot on every page, this book is a timeless classic, written and illustrated by the author.
Hardcover, Abridged edition, 64 pages
Published March 12th 1979 by Random House (first published March 12th 1968)
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Shawna This book was included in our pre-k homeschool curriculum. I started reading it to my son when he was 4 and he enjoyed it and asked some questions but…moreThis book was included in our pre-k homeschool curriculum. I started reading it to my son when he was 4 and he enjoyed it and asked some questions but the pages have quite a few words and labels on them so I couldn't keep his interest for very long. So I paused. Now, at 5.5, he definitely understood more, enjoyed it more and asked me to keep reading. I think the perfect age range would be age 5+ (kindergarten and up). My personal opinion.(less)

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  11,925 ratings  ·  239 reviews

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While Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day? definitely is engagingly entertaining, full of details upon details and thus both textually and illustratively informative (and albeit I do also have fond memories using a school library copy in grade four to practice my English vocabulary), personally I have always found What Do People Do All Day? as much too frenetic and too in-your-face busy for my tastes (and most definitely with TOO MUCH of an emphasis on physical work, and especially on veh ...more
Apr 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This is the best book ever written. I mean it.
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book was a gateway drug to my son, who now spends half his time poring over (and creating) detailed cross-sections and schematics. And Lowly Worm, too!
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, people learning English
This books is really fantastic! There's so much going on you could spend days reading it. And it's brilliant when you're learning English. I speak English very well but I still learned new words from this book. I left it on my night table to read again and learn more words.
Kate Merriman
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood-faves
I think I spent more hours in relationship with this book than maybe any other in my life, other than some spiritual texts.

I was fascinated by all the things people did for jobs, all the detail in the illustrations, the sense of humor inherent in all of it. I would gaze at just one page for something like a half-hour, like it was television, but the stories were ones I was telling myself about the characters.

Soon I began drawing the characters (pigs were my favorite), first copying exactly and t
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for this book.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I saw this book on my shelves the other day when I was trying (desperately) to get some semblance of order in things and the title struck me as appropriate for the situation we have recently been in - and still are!. I do admire Richard Scarry's books, particularly his illustrations for they are all full of energy but if he were writing this book today he would have to change the jobs that people are doing, because, apart from the indoor jobs, none of the others would be taking place!

It is a lov
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: jack
This book is very outdated (sexist).
September 2017 - I have a love/hate relationship with Richard Scarry. I love the details, the labels, the explanations of all kinds of things kids are interested in. But ugh, despite some improvements to the illustrations, there are still some super, super sexist stories in here, and I couldn't make it all the way through as a read-aloud - things that were too fundamental to the story to change on the fly.
Laura (Book Scrounger)
This is probably one of my four-year-old's favorite books. It takes a long time to read because the text is all over the pages (which can be nice because that helps it describe things more specifically), but he really enjoys seeing all of the different workers, especially the lumberjacks, farmers, and construction workers. He tells me that when he grows up, he wants to be "a worker"!

There is a fair amount of silliness as is typical in Busytown, and of course, anthropomorphic animals, but it seem
Shanna Gonzalez
Jul 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-00-04
Richard Scarry had a tremendous gift for telling stories that, while simple in plot, are rich in visual detail so that, having been read aloud once, they provide hours of entertainment for prereaders to enjoy at their leisure. His lively, fill-up-the-page artwork and classic sense of humor have endeared him to children for over fifty years.

In this book, Scarry introduces individual citizens of Busytown, then tells short stories about specific projects they are involved in: building a house, mail
Robbie Cheadle
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love Richard Scarry books. The stories are such fun and are also informative and the pictures are amazing. What do people do all day? is packed with interesting illustrations and stories about all sorts of workers including a farmer, a mother, the captain of a ship and a police sergeant. All of the workers are depicted as different animals and there are all sorts of little sub-stories going on in the background of each story. These sub-stories are very amusing. The pictures are very ...more
Amar Pai
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
Enjoyably detailed guide to modern industrial life. You can spend a lot of time poring over the oversized pages. As usual Richard Scarry's illustrations are warm and humorous.. This is like the baby version of Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape, or Works: Anatomy of a City

See also: Everything great about Richard Scarry in one picture
Jamie McLendon
Mar 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The rare 1966 edition wherein Huckle Cat staples Bananas Gorilla to the classroom bulletin board.
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This title encapsulates the question I ask to myself as I drive around in Houston trafffic--What Do People Do All Day? Ha ha. A classic.

Ages 3-6
Joseph Leskey
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody
This isn't exactly a classy work of literature, but it is certainly fun to read every once and a while. I never did stop liking to read a good Richard Scarry book.
Alexandra Hunter
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This fits somewhere between fiction and fact, created to inform children of the different jobs that make up society. Informative and creative. Stories and illustrations are all with animals and centre around an event, a sea voyage, a fire, a visit to hospital. It's dated but relevant still. For EYFS or year 1.
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
Read aloud bit by bit for the 1001 Children's Books to Read Before You Grow Up list.

This is one I remember reading when I was a kid and couldn't pass up when I saw it. My kiddo showed a lot of interest in the details of what was going on around Busytown and has been paying more attention on our own drives through town. I'm glad we own this one even if it is a little outdated.
Sep 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This was recommended to me by a labor historian I respect who praised it for implicitly acknowledging that all kinds of jobs and work are equally important to society.

The diagrams of waterwheels and gears and underground pipes are enchanting.

However, my edition at least has not been updated, like some Scarry books, to include women. The first woman with a job outside the home appears on page 43, she is a nurse, the mom does everything at home, etc. There were not even teachers in this book. For
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
My son's favourite right now. I have to read it every night for the past 2 weeks!
I thought I vividly remembered this book from my childhood, but on an adult second reading I only vividly remember through about page 9. My mom would always choose this book as the last bedtime book on those holdout nights when I resisted sleep. Its long and kindof dry, but it has its good points too.

This book is full of vocabulary that kids are sure to hear everyday and simple explinations for what the things are. The illustrations are funny and detailed. Once you learn all the characters, its
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A timeless children's classic. I learned to read at a very early age largely on account of this book. Not only that, I still own the very copy of What Do People Do All Day I cut my literary teeth on. It's been loved to near death: the binding, long since disintegrated, now consists of three loops of candy-striped yarn, and the outside edges of most of the pages are in tatters. Yet Huckle and his companions live on, as industrious and helpful as they were forty years past.

Richard Scarry's works n
Ann Moody
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my absolute all time favorites as a child. My original copy was worn to shreds and eventually discarded. So as a young adult I special ordered a new copy, only to find it "abridged" and clearly missing some of my favorite sections. Abridged? Why? Apparently there may have been various stereotypes no longer deemed appropriate, but I can't recall anything offensive in the original.

Even so, it's still a winner. In my humble opinion, the original Richard Scarry stories are cuter, more clever,
Jack enjoyed it, but it is pretty outdated. I found a lot of places where I had to break in and say, "well, that's how they used to do it, but now..." I like what the book sets out to do, and I like the curiosity and focus with which Jack responds to Richard Scarry books. I should check out the current edition and see if it has been tweaked.
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pic-books
Whew! There's so much in this book, my first impression was 'overwhelming'! I haven't read this with any of my nieces and nephews but something tells me that I'll have to rethink the way I read aloud. Instead of reading every word from beginning to end (which I seldom do anyway), I expect that the amount of time on any one page will depend on what the child finds the most interesting.
May 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Sadly the only version of this book available today is the abridged version which is a shame since it does not include some of my favorite sections (like what do writers do all day). The unabridged version gets 5 stars.
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. If the '60s gender politics bother you, don't read it OR use it as a critical discussion point when you read it to your kids. Or, you know, realize that there's nothing inherently shameful about housewifery and just enjoy it.
Awesome for pre-readers.
Jul 11, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: onceuponatime
Way too busy...not sure if it's too busy for me or my toddler. I try to avoid reading it, and it's never requested.
Jennifer Fertig
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-alouds
My advice: It's Busytown. Take it slow.
Enjoyed this with my 6 year old. :)
Brendan White
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books of all time! What Do People Do All Day? is a picture book written and illustrated by Richard Scarry. It’s appropriate for children aged 3-7. In 2012, the book won the Scholastic Parent and Child 100 Greatest Books for Kids. The pages show the town of Busytown and the places people go and work such as a paper mill, construction site, and hospital. The pictures are incredibly detailed and full of recognizable Richard Scarry characters.

There are so many ways in which to ut
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RICHARD SCARRY is one of the world's best-loved children's authors EVER! In his extraordinary career, Scarry illustrated over 150 books, many of which have never been out of print. His books have sold over 100 million copies around the world, and are currently published in over twenty languages. No other illustrator has shown such a lively interest in the words and concepts of early childhood. Ric ...more

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