Reviews for The Day the Crayons Quit

by Drew Daywalt

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Although the crayons in this inventive catalogue stop short of quitting, most feel disgruntled. The rank and file express their views in letters written to a boy, Duncan. Red complains of having to "work harder than any of your other crayons" on fire trucks and Santas; a beige crayon declares, "I'm tired of being called 'light brown' or 'dark tan' because I am neither." White feels "empty" from Duncan's white-on-white coloring, and a "naked" Peach wails, "Why did you peel off my paper wrapping?" Making a noteworthy debut, Daywalt composes droll missives that express aggravation and aim to persuade, while Jeffers's (This Moose Belongs to Me) crayoned images underscore the waxy cylinders' sentiments: each spread features a facsimile of a letter scrawled, naturally, in the crayon's hue; a facing illustration evidences how Duncan uses the crayon, as in a picture of a giant elephant, rhino, and hippo (Gray laments, "That's a lot of space to color in all by myself"). These memorable personalities will leave readers glancing apprehensively at their own crayon boxes. Ages 3-7. Author's agent: Jeff Dwyer, Dwyer & O'Grady. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Duncan's crayons are on strike. One morning he opens his desk looking for them and, in their place, finds a pack of letters detailing their grievances, one crayon at a time. Red is tired. Beige is bored. Black is misunderstood. Peach is naked! The conceit is an enticing one, and although the crayons' complaints are not entirely unique (a preponderance centers around some variation of overuse), the artist's indelible characterization contributes significant charm. Indeed, Jeffers' ability to communicate emotion in simple gestures, even on a skinny cylinder of wax, elevates crayon drawing to remarkable heights. First-class bookmaking, with clean design, ample trim size, and substantial paper stock, adds to the quality feel. A final spread sees all things right, as Duncan fills a page with bright, delightful imagery, addressing each of the crayons' issues and forcing them into colorful cooperation. Kids who already attribute feelings to their playthings will never look at crayons the same way again.--Barthelmess, Thom Copyright 2010 Booklist


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

K-Gr 2-In this delightfully imaginative take on a beloved childhood activity, a young boy's crayons have had enough. Fed up with their workload and eager to voice their grievances, they pen letters to Duncan detailing their frustrations. Energetic and off-the-wall, the complaints are always wildly funny, from the neurotically neat Purple ("If you DON'T START COLORING INSIDE the lines soon. I'm going to COMPLETELY LOSE IT") to the underappreciated White ("If I didn't have a black outline, you wouldn't even know I was THERE!"). Daywalt has an instinctive understanding of the kind of humor that will resonate with young children, such as Orange and Yellow duking it out over which of them represents the true color of the sun or Peach's lament that ever since its wrapper has fallen off, it feels naked. Though Jeffers's messily scrawled crayon illustrations are appropriately childlike, they're also infused with a sophisticated wit that perfectly accompanies the laugh-out-loud text; for example, a letter from Beige, in which he bemoans being tasked with drawing dull items like turkey dinners, is paired with an image of the crestfallen crayon drooping over beside a blade of wheat. Later on, Pink grumbles about constantly being passed over for less-feminine colors while the opposite page depicts a discomfited-looking pink monster and cowboy being derided by a similarly hued dinosaur. This colorful title should make for an uproarious storytime and may even inspire some equally creative art projects.-Mahnaz Dar, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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