Written by: Drew Daywalt
Illustrated by: Oliver Jeffers
Age Range: 3 and up
Publisher: The Penguin Group
"The Day the Crayons Quit" opens with a boy named Duncan who gets letters from his crayons about their use over the last year. The crayons each have different problems they would like their owner to address.
For instance, Red Crayon enjoys coloring fire engines and apples, but it continues to work hard during the holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day. It needs a break.
Green Crayon, on the other hand, absolutely loves its workload but wants Duncan to resolve a conflict between Yellow Crayon and Orange Crayon (who are no longer speaking). They both believe they are the real color of the sun.
Duncan cares about his crayons and wants them to feel happy, so he finds a way to incorporate all of his crayons to show his appreciation for them."
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What Worked For Me
As a parent, this book is actually fun to read. I laughed out loud multiple times and the crayons writing letters to their owner is a really clever concept. Each crayon had a different personality and inquiry, which I found interesting as well.
I enjoyed that my kids were able to see some colors that were unfamiliar to them. Beige, for instance, was new to my daughter and it helped her further understand different shades within the brown color family. It sparked a conversation about it. I love it when that happens.
The crayons show different behaviors often seen in children that the kids might not pick up on. I think parents will identify with a lot of the letters written to Duncan.
The book shows Duncan showing care and concern for his crayons and comes up with a creative solution to help them each feel appreciated.
What Didn't Work For Me
Each color writes a letter about their concerns, but there was an opportunity for this book to demonstrate an appreciation for the other colors. Most of the letters were complaining without showing appreciation for any of the other colors. Missed opportunity to me.
One metric I like to use for books is re-read value. When your child requests this book for the 5th night in the row, will you the parent actually like reading the book again or will you want to jump through a wall? It’s an imperative metric for us parents.
So, my kids requested to read this book many nights in a row and I’m happy to say I didn’t get tired or annoyed with the book after many repetitive readings.
I enjoyed the book. My kids enjoyed the book. It holds your attention and does a good job of creating some curiosity for what the next crayon might say. Give it a read and see what you think!
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