As I’ve been more and more frantically repeating as the holidays approach and the year draws to a close, I have quite a few books to read in not-too-many-days. I really think I can do it, but I’m going to need to make every book count. Literally, I’m now counting every single book I read. Including picture books.
This may seem like cheating, but it’s not so stop implying that picture books are any less valid than books without pictures. (Just kidding, probably no one was implying that and I’m being overly defensive for no reason.) So I finished book #82 and book #83 of my year in a matter of minutes, and they were both delightful.
First was The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. This story is adorable and has been a bestseller and very popular among children for a while now. It’s filled with vivid, watercolor-esque illustrations of crayon colors and all the pictures they are used to draw.
TDtCQ is about a box of crayons and all the individual colors that comprise it. They’re going on strike because they’re pretty tired of being used to color in what they’re always coloring in. Apart from a few crayons who are actually quite content with their roles, crayons are writing angry letters to Duncan, the boy who draws with them. It’s adorable and funny and there’s a pretty solid message. The illustrations are great too, because they’re beautiful and vivid but they’re also supposed to be Duncan’s drawings, so they have that endearing, little-kid-art quality. Highly recommend this book.
The second picture book I read is called My Pen, written by Christopher Myers and also illustrated by him which is somewhat unusual. This was a beautifully illustrated book with a pretty cool message as well.
My Pen is about a child getting discouraged by the amount of famous and influential people in the world; they make him feel small. Then he remembers all of the incredible things that he can create, how much power he wields, with his pen. The book goes on to describe all of the fantastical things possible with just a pen.
The illustrations in this book are all in black and white, but they’re beautiful and rich in detail. I’m not exactly sure how children read these types of books, like if they’re more interested in the drawings or the content or a mixture of the two, but in this book’s case, I would think they beautiful pictures would draw them in because there’s so much to look at.
Only 17 more to go. ◊
All year long I wear myself out colouring fire engines, apples, strawberries, and EVERYTHING ELSE that’s RED. I even work on holidays! I have to color all the Santas at Christmas and all the hearts on Valentine’s day. I NEED A REST!
– Red Crayon, The Day the Crayons Quit
“There are a million pens in the world and each one has a million worlds inside it. So if you have a pen, see what you can do – let those worlds inside your pen out!”
– My Pen