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10 Changes To Children Books That Depict Changes In Our Society

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2020, 9:26 am


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Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever is one of the most popular and best-selling children books in the world. The book was first published in 1963. The revised edition of this book, which was released in 1980, had some significant changes over the original version. Many of the stereotypes featured in the original version were either removed or updated. These updates clearly show how our society has changed and progressed over the past few decades. 
1.Dad Is In Kitchen, Cooking

The picture on the left was from the older version, where a female character was shown cooking. The newer version, as seen on the right, features a male character as well.


Dad Is In Kitchen, Cooking-10 Changes To Children Books That Depict Changes In Our Society




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2.Better Choice Of Words

This picture sums up the difference between older and newer generations. Author and book publishers have changed the book following changes in the society.


Better Choice Of Words-10 Changes To Children Books That Depict Changes In Our Society



3.Similar Changes

Similar to what we have seen in the previous picture, the phrase 'beautiful screaming lady' became 'cat in danger.' 'Brave fighter' became 'firefighter.'


Similar Changes-10 Changes To Children Books That Depict Changes In Our Society

See More: 15 Kids Who Are Too Innocent For This Dirty World





4.Showing Female Characters In Hard Jobs

In the older version, hard jobs like the one you see in the picture were illustrated using male characters only. The newer version shows female characters in a liberalized manner.


Showing Female Characters In Hard Jobs-10 Changes To Children Books That Depict Changes In Our Society



5.Another Picture That Show Women Breaking Gender Stereotypes

Luckily for the publishers, All they have to do is to add or remove hair bow to a character to make it look male or female!


Another Picture That Show Women Breaking Gender Stereotypes-10 Changes To Children Books That Depict Changes In Our Society





6.They Have Removed Unnecessary Adjectives

The word 'handsome pilot' became 'pilot'. The word 'pretty stewardess' became 'flight attendant'. Thanks to the update, the picture no longer looks sexist. 


They Have Removed Unnecessary Adjectives-10 Changes To Children Books That Depict Changes In Our Society



7.They Have Removed Pictorial Reference To Native American Headdress

In the older versions, there were many illustrations, where characters were shown wearing Native American headdresses (feathered war bonnets). All such pictures were either deleted or updated.


They Have Removed Pictorial Reference To Native American Headdress  -10 Changes To Children Books That Depict Changes In Our Society




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8.One More Picture

This picture too shows how authors and publishers have updated a character to generic type, which was a Native Indian character in the older version.


One More Picture-10 Changes To Children Books That Depict Changes In Our Society



9.The Addition Of Hanukkah Menorah

You can see the Hanukkah Menorah (Hanukkiyah) in the newer version, which was previously missing.


The Addition Of Hanukkah Menorah-10 Changes To Children Books That Depict Changes In Our Society



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10.Cover Page Changes

Can you spot the difference? Let's make this last picture a kind of 'spot the difference' game! Let's see how many differences you can find between the two cover pages.
The author, illustrator or other people who worked for this book are not sexist. Things were really like that, back in those days. The good thing is that makers of this book managed to do all these modifications even before someone complained about them. Best Word Book Ever is one of the most popular children books even to this date.


Cover Page Changes-10 Changes To Children Books That Depict Changes In Our Society



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