Crockett Johnson - Harold and the Purple Crayon

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Making things happen

Apr 23, 2002 (Updated Apr 23, 2002)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Delightfully simple book that sparks the imagination

Cons:None. Absolutely none.

The Bottom Line: Get it, read it, share it. It is good for everyone.


Harold has the right idea here. What do you want out of life? Well, then make it happen. That's exactly what little Harold does with his purple crayon. This book is an excellent stretch for the imagination for any age child.

The basic premise to the story is that Harold decides that he wants to take a walk in the moonlight. Of course, the first requisite for this would be...moonlight. So, Harold takes out his trusty crayon and draws himself a moon. Then he proceeds to draw himself a sidewalk to walk on. As the story progresses, Harold draws various other terrains and objects along his way, thus creating his own adventure.

In the end, Harold gets sleepy and begins to look for his room. He knows that his room has a window so he draws a window. But it isn't right. So he draws more and more windows, crafting a whole city for himself. But he still cannot find HIS window. Then he remembers that the moon always shines in his window, so he draws a nice rectangle around the moon. Ah, home at last.

The book itself is simple. The pages are uncluttered and easy to read. They are not numbered, so I don't know how many pages are in the book. The art work consists of a black and white line drawing of little Harold, and bold purple lines where his crayon has left its mark.

I found this book to be very inspiring for young and old alike. In addition to the fact that its simplicity makes it ideal for the very young, the act of creating your surroundings as you go opens avenues for all sorts of discussions with older children. "If you were to take a walk, what would you see and where would you go?"

Although this book has been out since 1955, I somehow missed Harold as a child. I was an avid reader from the very beginning, but Harold and his crayon never made their way into my library. I regret that. Sadly, they never made it to my son's library either. But I know now!

While this is a children's book, I can see practical application for the story as a teaching aid. The catch phrase for the 90's and into the new century has been to "think outside the box". Little Harold has done exactly that. He creates his own reality as he goes. It's a great opener to challenge students of any age to create their own circumstances.

Rather than this being a story about taking a walk with the ending being the destination, the walk itself is the story. This is a perfect depiction of the phrase, "Life is not about the destination, but the journey."

This book is the first of several adventures for Harold and his crayon. After this one, there is:
Harold's Fairy Tale
Harold's Trip to the Sky
Harold at the North Pole
Harold's ABC
Harold's Circus
and
A Picture for Harold's Room (An I Can Read Book)

I'd say Crockett Johnson has left us with some wonderful adventures!


Recommend this product? Yes

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