The Day the Crayons Came Home

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
The Day the Crayons Came Home Book Poster Image
Crayons send postcards, beg to return in hilarious sequel.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Mostly just for giggles, but some mentions of foreign places, such as France, the Great Wall of China, and the Amazon rainforest. A picture of the pyramids of Egypt. Shows what can happen if you leave crayons out in the sun or in the clothes dryer.

Positive Messages

You can come home again. If you don't take care of your stuff, it can get lost, broken, or even melted.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Crayons that ran away are humble enough to ask to come back. Duncan is kind enough to welcome them back and build a nice place for them to stay since they don't fit in the crayon box anymore. Neon Red is upbeat and adventurous. All parties are willing to heal any rift in the relationship so they can be home together again.

Violence & Scariness

Tan gets eaten by the dog but survives.


Tan gets eaten and "puked up" by the dog. Brown Crayon shows a drawing in which Duncan scribbled next to a bear and wrote the words "Bear goes in the woods."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Day the Crayons Came Home, by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, is the follow-up to The Day the Crayons Quit. You don't have to have read the first book to enjoy this one. The format of the first was letters of complaint from the individual colors to the boy who used them, Duncan, stating why they wanted to quit. Here, the crayons -- some that were lost or left behind somewhere many months ago -- send him postcards, telling him of their travels and mishaps and asking him to retrieve them or let them come home. It's uproariously silly and delightful.

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What's the story?

The same crayons that sent young boy Duncan letters in The Day the Crayons Quit, telling him why were mad about how he used them, send him postcards from afar in THE DAY THE CRAYONS CAME HOME. Here, they tell Duncan how they got lost or left behind -- for example, Maroon got lost in the couch two years ago "and your Dad sat on me," Neon Red was left by a pool eight months ago during Duncan's family vacation, Yellow and Orange got melted together after Duncan left them outside in the sun, and Tan got eaten by the family dog and "puked up on the rug." Each color makes an impassioned plea to come back, and in the end Duncan makes a special sort of crayon castle to make them feel at home, since they're all too broken and misshapen to fit in the crayon box anymore.

Is it any good?

This second crayon tale is even funnier than the first, as the colors that left in a huff in Book 1 write hilarious postcards recounting their time away and begging to come back to Duncan's house. They've been battered, bitten by baby brother, eaten and spit up by the dog, and spun in the dryer, and at least one has traveled far: A fun motif is Neon Red misidentifying the places he's been, sending a picture of himself on a camel in front of the pyramids, saying he's crossing New Jersey, and later a shot of himself in mid-ski jump, saying, "Greetings from the Amazon Rain Forest." It's all very clever and loads of fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about crayons. What's fun and special about them? What qualities do they have that markers don't? 

  • What do you think of telling a story in postcards? Have you sent postcards to friends or family when you were away from home?

  • What's the funniest postcard in the book? Who's the funniest crayon. Why?

Book details

  • Author: Drew Daywalt
  • Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
  • Genre: Picture Book
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Philomel
  • Publication date: August 18, 2015
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 5 - 8
  • Number of pages: 48
  • Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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