I've been working on a couple new stories, and I'm realizing that much of my inspiration for children's books and characters comes from Richard Scarry. When I was young, I spent hours upon hours looking at every square inch of his books. I was so excited to find new things each time, as a result, his work is seared into my sub-concious. Sometimes I have thought of something clever and funny, only to find out/realize later that it was just a reworked Richard Scarry concept. I also realized I didn't know anything about him.
So I started digging around the internet. I found this photo set on Flickr that has "before and after" comparisons to Scarry's book "Best Word Book Ever".
Apparently after the 60's and 70's he started to get a bunch of hate mail and he was forced to "update" some aspects of his books.
Take a look, pretty interesting. (Click on "Best Children's Book Illustrator Ever" above to see the photos.