The Day the Crayons Quit

Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers. Philomel, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-25537-3
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)
Reviewed on: 04/15/2013
Release date: 06/27/2013
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