Thursday, 3 April 2014

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

Prolific colourer-inner Duncan finds a pile of mysterious letters addressed to him, all written in different colours. They are letters from his worn out crayons and inside the envelopes they all say the same thing: they quit!

Red never gets a break, blue is overused (too much sea & sky), Pink feels left out, and White just can't see the point in himself. Beige understands that he's boring. Green has no complaints, but wishes that Yellow and Orange would just sort out their differences. And peach...well, Peach has entirely separate problems all of his own.

Firstly, congratulations Oliver Jeffers on another incredible project. Honestly the most distinctive, most consistently flawless illustrator since Quentin Blake. He has managed to make something as inanimate as coloured lumps of wax come alive with character and personality. I'm constantly baffled by the extent of his creativity and imagination, and I hope I continue to be so for a long time.

Despite being about 5 times the intended audience for this book, it actually produced an out-loud laugh from me, sat alone in an empty library. The amount of character in this story is incredible- each page is the letter from the crayon in question, angrily scrawled in its own wax (so the text is embedded in the illustration). Each is accompanied by some coloured drawings- evidence, if you like. The entire story is told through images, and each image adds more to the picture of the unhappy crayon box. Though we never see much of Duncan, we know all about him through the drawings that's he's made.

I can't see why any kid would ever not love this book. Everybody loves colouring, right? And every child imagines their possessions being alive at some point or another. I think they're going to love this. It's funny, relatable, and the drawings (dinosaurs, whales, pirates) are going to be very familiar to the aspiring illustrators that are going to be reading this.

A potential winner, without a doubt.

I love Green's conspiracy face...

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