Wednesday, June 03, 2015


Red crayon can’t seem to do anything right. Despite his bright red factory-applied label and very determined efforts, his artistic attempts are all decisively blue: blue strawberries, blue firetrucks, blue traffic lights, blue ants, etc. And, though well-meaning, his family’s suggestions fail to engender either change or satisfaction. Soon everyone is chiming in with commentary, critiques, and counsel: tape thinks he might be broken inside; scissors wonders if his label is too tight; amber questions whether he’s really red; fuchsia suggests that he might not be very bright… Ever keen to conform to expectations, red crayon diligently follows the advice of fellow art supplies, though it’s clear to readers from the start that mislabeling is the true source of the problem. The solution, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to longtime fans of the genre, is a celebration that comes from defying labels and embracing one’s true identity. Deceptively simple, Michael Hall’s Red: A Crayon’s Story is a fantastic picture book addition to the ever popular genre of identity and self-acceptance.

For more picture books exploring identity try The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water by Gemma Merino, Zero by Kathryn Otoshi, and A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni. Or, for another imaginative crayon story that colors outside the lines, check out Drew Daywalt’s The Day the Crayons Quit.

For ages 4+

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