A boy comes home to find a pile of letters waiting for him. They are from his crayons. They have some complaints about his coloring habits. Does this sound like a great premise for children’s book? It is!
In The Day the Crayons Quit (by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers) each color has a distinct personality, from over-worked red to under-used white to peach which just wishes its wrapping hadn’t been torn off and is now too embarrassed to leave the box.
I’d better stop now – I don’t want to give it all away. But it is a really cute story. The little Goofs are not in the 3-7 target age group, but my friends who have kids in the right age group, tell me their kids LOVE it. Also, I sent a copy to my nieces, so I definitely think it is good (only the best for them.)
The only problem is that sensitive children might now worry about the hurting the feelings of their crayons and stop using them altogether. But I don’t think that is too likely – the fantastic illustrations (by the renown Oliver Jeffers) will make readers of all ages open up a box of crayons. Hopefully it will inspire young Picasso's to make greater use of the less used colors.
I know Drew Daywalt, the author, we went to college together and he’s put me up a few times on visits to LA (he even got me a job for a day working on a set – but that’s a story for another time.) So I guess I owe him.
But the truth is, I find that I am tend to be extra critical of work my friends have done. I worry that it will stink and so I put off looking at it. Drew co-directed the movie Stark Raving Mad. I passed it in the video store for months before I finally rented it (pretty good – not Casablanca, but definitely fun to watch).
I had The Day the Crayons Quit on my desk for about a week before I read it. I needn’t have worried. It is terrific.
One More Thing
Tomorrow, July 22 Barnes and Nobles bookstores across thecountry are having readings and drawing activities around this book. If you have kids in the 3-7 age range and the time, find one and swing by and pick up a copy.