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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Day The Crayons Came Home, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Philomel Books, Penguin. 2015. $21.99 ages 7 and up

"Hey Duncan, I'm sure you don't recognize me ... after the horrors I've been through. I think I was ... Tan Crayon? or maybe  ...  Burnt Sienna? I don't know ... I can't tell anymore.
Have you ever been eaten by a dog and puked up on the living room rug?"

If you are still reading The Day the Crayons Quit to your kids because they love it so much, I am sure you know that The Day The Crayons Came Home is more of the same. Parents will get a kick out of literate crayons being able to voice their discontent for the life they lead. Fans of the first are sure to chuckle right along as you share it.

Cleverly written and meant to turn our perception of the lowly crayon on its ear, the book features another set of postcards sure to raise some questions for their recipient, Duncan. The crayons have, and are allowed to voice their many complaints:

"Dear Duncan,
No one likes peas.
No one even likes the color
PEA GREEN. So I'm changing
my name and running away
to see the world.

Esteban  ... the Magnificent!
(the crayon formerly known as PEA GREEN)

Often hilarious, certainly insightful, it can provoke thoughts with reader and listener about how we treat others in our lives - inanimate or not. The place that the various crayons find themselves in will be familiar to those who share their postcards. These are likely to evoke some sympathy, and encourage imagination as readers carefully consider Oliver Jeffers' surprising artwork. I can only imagine how excited they will be to discover the 'glow in the dark' crayon's memory. (And the spread glows in the dark!)

And how funny is this card:

"Hello Duncan,
It's me, BROWN crayon. You know
EXACTLY why I ran away, buddy!
Everyone thinks I get all the great coloring
jobs -candy bars, puppies, ponies. LUCKY me,
right? But they don't know what else you
used me to color, do they? I didn't think so.
The rest of that drawing was great,
but did it really need that final
brown scribble?
I'll come back, but please let's
stick to CANDY bars, ok?

Your VERY embarrassed friend,

You need to know that the postcard is faced with THAT drawing entitled - "Bear goes in the woods."

These crayons don't mince any words when explaining to Duncan that they have needs, and better treatment. The vintage postcards, the asides, the continuing story of Esteban, and Duncan's solution for keeping everyone content ensures a happier ending. Rescue accomplished; wishes granted.

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