Review: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

day the crayons quit

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Published June 27, 2013

Duncan is all set to color, but when he opens his crayon box he finds all sorts of letters written to him by his crayons.  And they are all letters of complaint!  First, Red wants to complain about being overworked because of all of his work on apples and fire engines.  He even works holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day!  Other crayons like Beige are complaining about not being used enough.  Then there is the feud between Orange and Yellow about how is the real color of the sun, since Duncan uses them both.  Peach crayon is upset about having his wrapper peeled off leaving him naked and unable to come out of the crayon box.  Purple scolds Duncan for coloring outside the lines and Pink complains about not being used except by Duncan’s little sister.  Luckily, Duncan has a great solution to all of their complaints.

Daywalt has created a book that is such fun to read aloud.  Each crayon’s letter really has its own voice, making it a pleasure to give new voices for each crayon character.  This mix of tones and voices also results in a very robust story, much more than one might expect for such a simple concept.  The entire book is cheerful and has laugh-out-loud moments throughout.

Jeffers’ art is as always playful with his own particular whimsical touches.  His crayons come to life with just a few lines that convey emotion through eyes, mouth and arms.  Simple and completely convincing.

A colorful look at crayons, personalities and ultimately creativity, this picture book should be shared aloud with plenty of paper for coloring on.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Philomel.