While I did not devote an entire blog post to Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers’ first crayon adventure, The Day the Crayons Quit, I did mention it here as a great picture book for older readers. It is one of those books I recommend often, and I even gifted it to one of my nephews for his birthday, so I stand behind my recommendation! This fall, that incredible duo came out with a sequel, The Day the Crayons Came Home, and I knew this time I would have to devote a full blog post to this truly awesome picture book. So here goes!
In the first book, Duncan’s crayons are tired of the way they are being used and each one composes a plaintive letter to their owner. In the sequel, Duncan receives postcards from crayons he has lost, forgotten, or damaged over the years. These crayons are trying to make some changes, which ends up being quite complicated for some of these colourful friends. Among this cast of damaged waxy friends, the reader meets Maroon Crayon (whose castaway beard is to be admired), Pea Green (who is changing his name to Esteban the Magnificent), the horribly mixed up Yellow & Orange, the Turquoise Crayon who has become stuck to a stinky sock, and my favourite, Tan (or possibly Burnt Sienna) Crayon, who was eaten by a dog and puked up. There are even more crayons with equally funny signatures and stories that will almost certainly have you smiling with your little reader.
Like the first book, this is a great option for sharing with older readers. It’s funny and visually interesting, with something to talk about and look at on each and every page. It’s full of great details, like the aforementioned beard on the maroon crayon who has been marooned in the couch. With great wordplay like that, you can find lots to talk about with your not-so-little one. Oliver Jeffers, who illustrated the books, is so stylistically unique, and he imbues the crayons with so much life and personality. Just take a look at Esteban (formerly known as Pea Green) and you’ll understand what I mean.
Much like the movie Toy Story made every person who watched it think about their toys a little differently, these books will make your children (and maybe even you) look at crayons in a whole new light.