Best Word Book Ever by Richard Scarry was published in 1963 and became a best-selling children’s book. Scarry had been illustrating children’s books since 1950, but this was his first as both author and illustrator. The book also marked the beginning of the author’s work on the “Best Ever” series. The original edition contains over 1,400 labelled pictures and the book sold over seven million copies in 12 years. The word book is designed to entertain children while teaching them words and numbers. It is divided into subjects on each pair of pages. Subjects range from sports to houses, with examples from all over the world. The pages have a small amount of text, which often challenge the reader to find something on the page. The characters are all anthropomorphic animals, often cats, bears, rabbits and mice, but many other animals are also used. The art for Best Word Book Ever was first drawn in, then painted in, which was by that time Scarry’s normal method.