Friday, 2 January 2015

Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers' 'The Day the Crayons Quit'

Daywalt and Jeffers’ picture book 'The day the crayons quit' is a very well-written picture book (that was a number one New York Times bestseller) that I would range for children in primary school from about the age of seven. And as this is Daywalt’s premiere, making it to number one is very impressive indeed.
The plot of this picture book is that a young boy Duncan has had his twelve crayons quit on him for various reasons. Each of the twelve crayons (besides yellow and orange) are given a double-paged spread in order to air their grievances in letters and show off their colouring abilities after being used by Duncan.
I enjoyed the fact that each coloured crayon is given a different tone, voice and personal reason for writing their owner a letter. There are illustrations mixed with real images that make it more realistic for the reader to believe these letters were all actually given to Duncan to read. The language is given emphasis and it also highlights colour and their relationship to drawing. Daywalt has even given the reader a moment to think about gender and its relationship to colour through the use (or lack of use) of the pink crayon.
I found this picture book entertaining and I do believe that children will enjoy it and find it humorous as they learn how crayons feel and think about themselves. There is a lot of creativity in this book, and its ending will be satisfying to young readers.
A note on the illustrator: Jeffers has written and illustrated books for children for a long time. The experience shows and is worthwhile in the book. For though it could be argued there is not a lot of detail, it is illustrated as though a child had created the pictures on the page. This shows incredible talent and dedication to his art and work.
Overall, I really like this picture book and believe it would be a lot of fun for young readers, while possibly educating them at the same time on not just what colour is but how to use imagination to challenge it as well.

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