Kiddosphere: Color Your World: Books for National Crayon Day
Unless a holiday has a formal proclamation (from the president, Congress, or other government agencies) or an official website, it’s often difficult to get information on how and why a certain national day/week/etc., got started. Luckily, for National Crayon Day, there’s no surprise, as March 31 is the official founding day for the Binney and Smith Company, later known as Crayola. While Crayola is certainly not the only crayon brand around, it’s a great excuse to talk about some terrific books that feature crayons.
There’s no better book to start a National Crayon Day post than Crockett Johnson’s classic picture book, Harold and the Purple Crayon. Published in 1955, this engaging story about a little boy who creates many adventures with his purple crayon continues to inspire and enchant new generations.
Inch by Inch is my favorite Leo Lionni picture book. His adaptation of the classic song is charming and endearing; I don’t often enjoy picture book adaptations of songs, but this one works perfectly. Lionni used a collage of rice paper and crayons to create his magnificent illustrations for this story.
The Day the Crayons Quit has been consistently popular ever since we received it in 2013 (as is its sequel). This hilarious story about crayons complaining about their treatment (in the form of letters to a befuddled young boy) is immensely clever, and a great example of how picture books remain appealing long beyond the kindergarten years (and can contain sophisticated vocabulary and humor that enriches young listeners and readers).
New crayons eventually break, get crushed, or go missing. Such is the dilemma that faces our young character in Snap; although he is frustrated, he learns that combining colors or using them in different ways creates art that is just as cool as the art created by fresh crayons.
Finally, Wax to Crayons is a fine and simple overview of the process in which crayons are created. Starting with wax, readers learn how wax is molded and created into bright new crayons.
Hope this inspires you to create something with crayons–or to find new reads the next time you visit the library. Happy National Crayon Day!
Looking for more program highlights and staff suggestions for children and young adult readers? Make Kiddosphere your source for all the latest on what to read and what to do for kids!
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library