The Day the Crayons Quit, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, is a charming book that has spent some time at the top of the New York Best Sellers list. It contains a series of letters from a set of crayons to their owner, Duncan. Many of the letters involve complaints–too much work (in the case of the grey crayon), not enough work (in the case of the beige crayon), being considered a “girly” color (in the case of the pink crayon)–but a few of the crayons are content with their lives. Readers of all ages will be entertained by the unique voice of each crayon and the typical drawings that each crayon creates. After reading all the crayons’ letters, Duncan makes a complex drawing that both includes each previously listed color and addresses their complaints, a drawing that is praised by is teacher for creativity.
This book opens up some wonderful opportunities for creative response from children. They may be asked to imagine what their crayons would complain about if they spoke, or asked to create a drawing that uses colors in different ways than usual. In addition to telling an entertaining story alongside entertaining illustrations, the book hints towards the importance and fun of creativity; a reading in class or at home may be accompanied by a brainstorming session for ways to think outside of the box. What if we colored the sun purple? What if we used our plastic sporks from lunch to make a sculpture? What if we wrote a poem in fractions?