Books like What Do People Do All Day?
August 5, 2014 2:39 PM   Subscribe

What non-Richard Scarry books would enthrall a toddler who loves Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day? I'm looking for books featuring amusing vignettes of various workers in their daily routine and illustrating what they do. Not books about a sole profession. Thanks for any ideas.
posted by JamesD to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Parents are People ( which I'd always thought was called Mommies are People) is part of Free to be You and Me.
posted by brujita at 2:44 PM on August 5, 2014

I LOVED this book when I was a kid. Animal Doctors, What Do They Do?

Yeah, written in 1969, first book I ever bought from the Scholastic book fair at school. I paid a dime.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:48 PM on August 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oooooh, these were books that my brother and I loved looking at together! Richard Scarry is good at having a lot of action in his pictures, and a lot of small details. They're fun to look at because you see something new every time.

In a similar vein, we also loved the look inside cross sections books. We had one on very large vehicles (cruise ship, airplane, I think there was the space station, a tank, etc) and another on famous buildings (only one I remember is the Sydney Opera House).

The illustrations are super detailed, they depict things actually going on inside of them (so, people going about their jobs in the whatever thing), and god love him Stephen Biesty never misses an opportunity to show someone on a toilet--that stuff is toddler gold. And as a bonus, as the kid gets older they can actually read the info on the page and learn about what they're looking at.

Great books. Just great. Highly recommended!
posted by phunniemee at 2:51 PM on August 5, 2014 [5 favorites]

In the Town, All Year 'Round follows various scenes from a town over the seasons. There is construction that progresses, a cat that shows up on every page, and characters that have little bits that carry over various pages. Almost no words, non-readers will sit and look at the book for a long time.
posted by ambrosia at 2:55 PM on August 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Next Stop, Grand Central
posted by latkes at 3:13 PM on August 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Busy people, busy day" was a big hit with my kid. (
posted by beccaj at 5:38 PM on August 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Most Amazing Night Book.
posted by JimN2TAW at 9:34 PM on August 5, 2014

Busy Day, Busy People.

I still say that phrase to myself occasionally about 37 years after having first "read" the book.
posted by kuanes at 5:18 AM on August 6, 2014

I find the "how things work" type of books very detailed. The one I loved growing up was Where Everyday Things Come From.
posted by Melismata at 5:29 AM on August 6, 2014

I haven't read it yet (still waiting for my library copy to come in), but Why Are You Doing That by Elisa Amado sounds like it fits the bill. A little boy goes from person to person asking them why they do what they're doing. Everything's related to food production, but still gives a cool idea of different jobs people do.
posted by carrioncomfort at 8:47 AM on August 6, 2014

Thanks everyone!
posted by JamesD at 4:20 PM on August 6, 2014

Joe Kaufman has (had?) a whole series of those books. They're dated -- rotary phones, record players, etc. -- but still interesting.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:23 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

There are some similar books in this previous AskMe.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:25 PM on August 6, 2014

Night Shift has been a favorite at our house, over a range of ages.
posted by acm at 1:24 PM on August 7, 2014

Not books, but my kiddo loves the Toddler Seek and Find apps by the German company Wonderkind, which feature pretty watercolor-style complicated scenes of people doing stuff that can be individually tapped on to activate actions--we have the airport, firefighter, and farm ones and my kid loves them, but they're also not difficult to turn off since they just involve poking around a scene rather than game-style play.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 5:19 PM on August 17, 2014

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