The Day the Crayons Quit
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Day the Crayons Quit is a very original picture book that imagines the issues a box of 12 crayons might have. The crayons lodge their complaints in respectful -- and funny -- letters to their young owner, who finds an artistic way to make them all happy in the end.
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What's the Story?
A little boy named Duncan (who's never shown) finds a stack of letters in his school desk sent to him by the crayons in his crayon box -- all letters of complaint. In child-like printing, each crayon expresses its frustration. Red says it works too hard all year, coloring fire engines, apples, strawberries. "I even work on holidays!" (coloring Santas and Valentines). Beige doesn't have enough to do -- "Brown gets all the bears, ponies and puppies" -- and it gets stuck with wheat, "and let's be honest -- when was the last time you saw a kid get excited about coloring wheat?" Yellow's fighting with Orange about which one should be used to color the sun. Twelve crayons in all lay out their issues, and then Duncan comes up with a happy, artistic solution to please everyone.
Is It Any Good?
THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT is wildly imaginative and loads of fun. It has a youthful sensibility that kids will relate to, but it's so clever that adults won't mind reading it over and over again. It's just funny to think about crayons being mad about what they have to color -- or being jealous of what other crayons get to! And illustrator Oliver Jeffers imbues each little crayon with a distinct personality and perfectly captures kid-style drawings. If you're looking for a fresh idea in a children's book, look no further.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about coloring. Are there any rules about which crayons should be used for certain things? Have you ever used a crazy color for a cow or a pig?
Check out Eric Carle's The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse and see how he used any color he wanted to paint animals.
Take out your box of crayons and try to imagine what they might tell you in a letter. Try writing a letter, pretending you're one of the crayons writing to you. What will you say?
- Author: Drew Daywalt
- Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Arts and Dance
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Philomel
- Publication date: June 27, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 3 - 7
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: ALA Best and Notable Books
- Last updated: March 11, 2020
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