A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Some basics about color and which things in the world are certain colors.
Be true to yourself. Persevere when trying to discover your true self. Some friends are well-meaning but steer you in wrong directions. Some friends may help in unexpected ways. A gentle lesson about acceptance of others and yourself.
Positive Role Models
Red is frustrated but perseveres and finds his true self. His friends help, sometimes in unexpected ways.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Red: A Crayon's Story, by bestselling picture-book author Michael Hall, is a completely fresh and fun take on the shopworn moral "be yourself." Red is a crayon who, notwithstanding his name, is clearly blue. Though he tries to draw cherries and hearts and the other crayons cheer him on in well-meaning ways, everything he draws comes out blue. Infused with emotional smarts and empathy, this story celebrates diversity and difference in all its forms.
Is It Any Good?
The moral "be yourself" abounds in children's books; in unskilled hands, the story can be colorless and stripped of meaning, but this is a completely fresh, kid-friendly take on the subject. Kids can see right away that Red is blue. And they'll relate when the other crayons (read: parents, teachers, peers) push him in ways that, though seemingly helpful and well-intentioned, feel uncomfortable and untrue to self.
The art is graphic and bright, the storytelling smart, and the emotion surprisingly affecting. Kids can take the message to heart, and the book can spur a family discussion.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.