Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

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Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Madeline Wheatley
Reviewed by Madeline Wheatley
Summary: A book of a dream or a dream of a book? Harold takes a walk in the moonlight. He uses his purple crayon to create a path, a picnic, a porcupine and one fantastic night time adventure.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 64 Date: April 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780007464371

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Harold and the Purple Crayon is a classic picture book that celebrates the power of the imagination. Harold draws his own journey with the crayon. When he gets hungry, he draws himself a picnic. When he wants to walk through a forest, the crayon helps out. His slight figure walks across the plain white pages of the book creating everything that the reader sees. But the things Harold draws don’t always do what he likes, and he has to think quickly to reach the safety of his bed at the end of the tale.

It’s this edge of uncertainly that gives the story wider appeal and makes it a good choice for bedtime reading with children of differing ages. It’s a soothing going to bed tale for three year olds not so far removed from the sleep-suited Harold. Older children can enjoy the gentle word play (made his bed takes on new meaning) and laugh at the rebellious side of some of Harold’s creations. And everyone can talk about where Harold really is. Is he in bed and dreaming the whole time or not?

Don’t be deceived by the apparently simple style of the book. Its pared-down pages promote imagination in an understated way. If you are at all worried about the visual bombardment that children can experience using modern media, this is definitely a book to try. It has no flaps, glitter, sound effects or tactile surfaces. You can’t watch it in 3D. All you need is a cosy place to settle down and time to share the experience of a good tale, simply told.

The lack of embellishment makes Harold and the Purple Crayon relatively timeless even though it was originally published in 1955. This edition is one in a series of essential picture book classics published by HarperCollins, bringing some of the best in early children’s picture books to a new generation.

Thank you to the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you like the idea of magic drawings try the folk tale The Magic Paintbrush by Julia Donaldson.

Harold and the Purple Crayon was called a masterpiece by Maurice Sendak. Try his classic picture book Where the Wild Things Are to see Crockett Johnson’s influence on Sendak’s work.

Buy Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson at Amazon.com.


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