Sunday, February 22, 2015

PB14:14 - Day 9: The Day the Crayons Quit

For day 9 of the Picture Book 14:14 challenge I have picked:

Title: The Day the Crayons Quit
Author: Drew Daywalt
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Publisher:  Philomel Books
Year: 2013
Top 10 Element(s): conflict 

First let me say, this in not a book for very young children. This is for the older picture book crowd. The word count is very high, and I am not sure if it would hold a younger child's attention. Also, I think they wouldn't grasp the concept either.

I won this book in a Twitter contest. I read it and (since my daughter is a teenager now) passed it on to my niece's two boys. One is in school and learning to read. He was excited to receive it from me, because he teacher had read it to the class only a week before I gave it to him. He thought it was a funny book. I think it is a funny book, too, but it's not for everyone. With that said, let me sum up the story.

Duncan, who likes to draw, pulls out his crayon box. But instead of crayons, he find a stack of letters addressed to him. Apparently, the crayons are on strike, and the letters explain why. The first letter Duncan reads is from red crayon. He states that he is exhausted from coloring all those fire trucks and other red things. In fact, he has to work on holidays, too--Valentine's hearts and Santa's red suit.

Green is perfectly happy but, like red, all the other crayons have complaints. What is Duncan to do? Of course, he finds the perfect solution to make everyone happy again.

I like the way the letters are shown hand-written (or should I say CRAYON-written), each in the appropriate color. I wish the writing would have varied a bit more for each letter. I also like how each letter is then accompanied by an illustrated example that is very true to children's drawings.

I've heard mixed reviews on this book. Some people love it and think it is the funny book they've read all year. Others say it's too negative. Some claim it is cheeky. A few read into way to much and think it is the devil in disguise. I think it has a lot of elements which can be used in a variety of ways to teach kids about cooperation, creativity, problem-solving. This book is all in how you use it. But that's just my opinion. You judge for yourself. Here's a YouTube I found of someone reading The Day the Crayons Quit.

And if you'd like to see more picture book reviews for day 9 of the PB14:14, be sure to go to this link:


Christie Wright Wild said...

I liked it more than I thought I would. My kids are 8 and 10 and they liked it. I think it's unique and clever and a lot of fun.

Sydney O'Neill said...

Thanks for choosing this one, and for the link. I had skimmed it in the bookstore but it was much more fun hearing the kids'reactions. They seemed to like it.

Katie Logonauts said...

I love this book. Our art teacher used it this year with students, and I think it led to some very creative works.

Your comment about people reading way too much into this made me curious ... what level of crazy are we talking about?

Linda H. said...

Katie, if you go to Amazon you'll see that this book has both good and bad reviews. (as of today 1,457 gave 5 stars, 132 gave 4, 56 gave 3 stars, 33 gave only 2, and 42 people gave a mere one star rating. Go to the one star ratings and you'll see a few examples of people reading way to much into it. And for people read this to 2-year-olds. If you aren't going to pick a level-appropriate book for your child there is a very good chance they won't like it or "get" it.

But I know so many who just adore this book. As a former teacher, I can think of many ways to use this in the classroom or at home.

Manju Howard said...

The video of children reading and laughing along to The Day the Crayons Quit made me giggle. And Linda, thanks for answering Katie's question. I wondered the same thing.

Damon Dean said...

I read this book last year and loved it. It's cute. I can see the 'humor' being a little older kid, but then again my 6-yr old granddaughter would 'get' the idea that crayons are refusing to work. Like Linda, I think it's all in how you use it. Thanks Linda for a good post on this.

winemama said...

I used this book to discuss pacing today.
My son loves this book! He is almost 4.

Vivian Kirkfield said...

It's definitely a clever book, Linda! That said, for people with poor vision, it is extremely difficult to read some of the pages because of the 'handwriting' and the lack of contrast of the background and text on some of the pages. But my grandson loved it...although when I read it to him last year, I had to condense some of the was a bit wordy. ;)

You do wonderful posts, Linda!