Crockett Johnson - Harold and the Purple Crayon

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The Power of Imagination

Jun 4, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Simply told, deeply imaginative, classic bedtime story

Cons:none, as long as you keep the crayons safely stowed away :P

The Bottom Line: Harold explores the world via his drawings with a purple crayon, & tries to find his way home to bed


In 1955, cartoonist and children's book illustrator Crockett Johnson came up with a book whose simple concept was so engaging and original, it became an instant classic. Featuring a simple drawing of a small boy, black background, and the simply drawn purple lines from the crayon, the story takes children on a journey of the imagination. Young Harold is bored,and draws a single line, then goes to draw simple pictures such as any 3-4 year old might draw, creating a world to explore. Finding himself tired and wanting his bed, he looks about and tries to recall how to get home from his created world, and remembers that his room is the one where you can see the moon through the window, so he draws the window round the moon, and so ends his journey.

Its beautifully simple, and yet deceptively deep in meaning. Small children will no doubt find this an intriguing concept, while nonetheless knowing it his Harold's imagination. The simple story opens up questions about the nature of reality and the power of the imagination that enables discussion with children, and helps them gain a greater sense of the world around them, as well as their own creativeness. The simplicity of the drawings makes it all the more charming. It fairly disarms the adult reader and thrusts them for several minutes back into that place, where anything we imagined was real, and the world was a plaything to be experienced. Alas, that is the egocentricness of childhood, which passes, but which Johnson so ably captured.

Recently having celebrated its 50th anniversary, its easily available at most good bookstores, and online from Amazon and BAMM, so easy to get hold of. It makes for a wonderful bedtime story book, and I hope you share it with someone young you love.


Recommend this product? Yes

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