The Day the Crayons Came Home
Written by Drew Daywalt; Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Philomel Books, 2015, Ages 5-7
This story is about 14 crayons who left their owner or was left by their owner at some point and ended up in different situations. Throughout the book, the crayons are writing letters to their owner, Duncan, to let him know what happened to them and why they are on their way back to him. They also write him letters about the journey and the obstacles they faced to get back to him. When Duncan learned of everything that had happened to them he ran around his house searching for them and finding them. Once he did find them, he realized they were all so broken and damaged that they would not fit into their crayon box, so he decided to make them a new home where each crayon would fit in. This kept the crayons happy and pleased so they would never leave again.
The author used humor in his story by making them all have their own personalities. Each crayon is coming from a different destination trying to make their way back to their owner, Duncan. Throughout the book, each crayon gives a little background information and when they will be back. For example, Pea Green wanted to change his name to Esteban... the Magnificent. He also had a crown named Neon Red who traveled the world to get back to him which is also another funny little adventure. I liked he introduced and closed the book with a narrator, but every other page is like the crayons are talking right to Duncan.
The illustrations in this book are so bright and colorful. They are very fun to look at because the drawing alone are good, but with all the colors make it more interesting and give it more life. I also like how on some of the pages there are drawings as if they were Duncan's so it gives it more of a realistic point of view. I also like how the author and illustrator made the words on the envelopes look like the crayons were writing it, not the author writing it and for any children reading or having this read to them. This would be very interesting to them and they may even think the crayons at their desk are living. He also made the backgrounds different so that each picture would stick out more. For example, Glow in the Dark Crayon can only be seen in darkness, so the illustrator made the whole page black with the writing and drawings on it. That made it a little more interesting than just another white page.
I really liked this book, this is actually one of my new favorite children's book. I would absolutely recommend this book to other teachers, any parents, and individuals who just like to read and look into different styles of books. I think this book would be best for kindergarten through second grade because they are all at the age where they will think it is so cool that the crayons are talking. I would say past that age though, they will know this is not a realistic book and may not be as amused with it. I enjoyed reading this book and I think kids would love this. Having a younger classroom would be the perfect time to grab this book so you could read it at circle time or even just for a reward they could get to pick this book to read. It is very visual, bright, and funny which are three main reasons I really enjoyed this book.
Reviewed by Sara Utley