• a pickle for your thoughts: richard scarry’s busytown

    Amazing what memories a favorite toy can conjure up…When I was six years and recovering from minor surgery, my mom offered (okay, let’s be straight, “bribed”) me with three treats of my choosing. After careful consideration, I picked a visit to Jones Beach, Munchos potato chips and a pig in pickle car–and not necessarily in that order. A pig in a what, you say? No, it was not some strange variation of a passed hors d’oeuvre. If you grew up like I did, reading Richard Scarry’s Busytown, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. An imaginative world in which animals and various foods co-exist in harmony, the beloved porcine Mr. Frumble was second only to Lowly Worm who traveled in his signature apple car. (Others may remember Bananas Gorilla and Huckle Cat.) No matter which character I favored, the idea of dressed-up animals riding around on food thrilled my young mind and transported me to places where I could be and do whatever I pleased. What child wouldn’t relish that feeling of make-believe? As I look for toys and books for my own kids to play with these days, I find myself leaning towards ones that can re-create such fond childhood memories. Richard Scarry’s Busytown is one such place where kids can act out scenes inspired by the wonderfully illustrated book series or make their own, modern-day fables. Be it shopping at the grocery store with the Pig Family or hitting the road with Mr. Frumble, the storylines are plentiful. All that’s required is your imagination. For this formerly bandaged patient, it was a simple pig in a pickle car that kept her company, while sitting on the sand and munching potato chips. Yes, life was good…

    In a Nutshell: If you grew up on the books of Richard Scarry,  Busytown was the zipcode. This holiday seasons, make it the place to be once again for your own kids with these vehicles, figures and playsets modeled on the series.

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