Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Harold and the Purple Crayon 50th Anniversary Edition” as Want to Read:
Harold and the Purple Crayon 50th Anniversary Edition
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Harold and the Purple Crayon 50th Anniversary Edition (Harold #1)

4.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  102,083 Ratings  ·  1,395 Reviews
Essential Picture Book Classics—timeless stories for every child to treasure.

"One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight."

Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement.

Full of funny twists and surprises, this joyful story shows just how far your imagina
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by HarperCollins (first published 1955)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Popular Answered Questions

This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
I read this many, many times to my twins, and they liked it well enough, but they much preferred Where the Wild Things Are and Stone Soup. I wasn't sure why, but I never gave it much thought until now.

Now, you see, my little Scoutie Kat loves Harold and the Purple Crayon, and I think it is because I finally figured out the voice for reading aloud. One night last month we were sitting around, and I was exhausted, so rather than try to muster energy and liven up proceedings, I simply went with my
This is a book about an insomniac toddler who gets out of bed and goes wandering around at night armed with a magic crayon.

What were his parents thinking? Didn't they realize that you should put toddlers to bed early and make sure they stay there? And didn't they know that you shouldn't give magical objects to young children? Harold could have fallen out of bed and ended up with an owie. What is worse, he could have gotten lost, eaten, injured, kidnapped, jailed or drowned.

This book should be p
Benjamin Winkler
Crockett Johnson's allegorical retelling of Books 1-6 of Vergil's Aeneid is still as powerful today as when it was originally published in 1955. After being startled by a "dragon" guarding apples - a reference to the Achaian menace brought on by the Golden Apple of Discord - Harold/Aeneas is forced into an involuntary sea voyage, accompanied only by the moon (here a stand-in for his patroness/mother Venus). He lands in a pleasant country, and enjoys a seaside feast (the wealth and luxury of Cart ...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
This book is Amazing! I love this story of imagination & imagery! My favorite part toward the end:
"And then Harold made his bed.
He got in it and he drew up the covers."
This is so perfect on so many levels. The sad thing is I don't remember reading this as a child - I am just discovering The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon at age 30 - Where have you been all my life Harold? If you're like me or if you've read it before - do yourself a favor and read this book - rediscover a world o
Jun 29, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A true classic and for good reason! A marvelous story about all the places imagination (and a purple crayon) can take you! Don't let the book's apparent "simplicity" fool you--this is a treasure.

I'm a creative person, but I'm not especially artistic in terms of drawing/painting/etc. so I could both appreciate Harold's creative spirit and his artistic talents that are beyond me! That said, I think even though Harold uses a purple crayon, the imagination and creativity can be so relevant to variou
I remember reading Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson, as a child, so when I saw the book on the library shelves, I decided to check it out for my older daughter. When I read it to her, the feelings of disquietude that had plagued me as a child when I read the book (and which I had forgotten) were reawakened. Harold and the Purple Crayon is upsetting because it is not a journey into the imagination or even into a real yet magical world (a la Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things ...more
Scott Rhee
Oct 03, 2013 Scott Rhee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crockett Johnson's wonderful little book "Harold and the Purple Crayon" is a classic among children's literature. I have many fond memories of this book (and the other Harold books) about an adorable toddler with an active imagination and a magical crayon that allows him to bring to life anything he draws. I never had a problem with the book as a child, but my cynical (and science fiction/fantasy-addled) adult brain's re-reading uncovers the horrific implications within the story, implications t ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
In Defense of Purple Prose
by Paul West

Like with reading Finnegans Wake and following Jesus, become as like a little child.....
Robert Tabb
Aug 13, 2007 Robert Tabb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with an Imagination
Shelves: topten
I just love this book (even though my wife insists I never pronounce the word crayon correctly. She says I say "crown"). As an author I try to emulate what Harold does in this book. First, go looking for an adventure. Next, add some obstacles, a little humor, a moose, some pie, and some narrow escapes. Finally, when you're all done, find your way home and get some rest. If I was ever stranded on a desert island, this would be the book I'd want to have with me.
John Yelverton
Sep 17, 2011 John Yelverton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a fun children's book about a child's imagination and what he can do with it, with the right tools.
Nov 28, 2007 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
One of the all-time best books to foster creativity in children. A must for EVERY child's bookshelf.
Aug 04, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Our whole family loves Harold. Out of all of his stories, this is one of our favorites, because we just love following him along on his drawing adventure. I idea that you can create worlds just by drawing them both fascinates and horrifies my children. My 3 yr old twins already shout "Harold!" whenever they see me pull out of of his books, and my 5 yr old, often requests these. Bringing back memories from my childhood watching Romper Room, and singing "Well you know my name is Simon...", always ...more
Spider the Doof Warrior
This was the first book I remember loving. I remember going to the school library and snatching it off the shelf happy to read about Harold creating his own world with a purple crayon.
Purple was my favourite colour when I was a kid too.
I wish I owned a copy of it. It brings back happy childhood memories.
Dec 26, 2014 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books are classics for a reason. This is one of those books.

I'd happily recommend this book for kids of any age range. They're delightful, and my boys enjoy having them read and re-read to them.
Jan 02, 2009 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-top-100-books
Harold is probably the most influential character in all of literature in our family
Dec 21, 2011 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
Oh dear, this one is tough to rate. My niece and nephew had *completely* different opinions of this book. My niece loved it, and she told me to, "give that one five stars on Goodreads." Well, that isn't going to happen, because my nephew *hated* it. He was sighing, he was squirming, and it was just obvious that while he was interested in what Harold was drawing, this book was also boring him to tears. When we finished the book he said, "Amy, I don't like that story. I just want a cool book!" So ...more
Angela Skeie
Nov 22, 2009 Angela Skeie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Broaden your horizons
Recommended to Angela by: Mommy
Shelves: william-s-books
Scott Krause
Jan 10, 2008 Scott Krause rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brittany Young
The first thing I noticed about this book was how small it was. It was the size of my palm, which would make it perfect for a young child’s hands. It had a deep purple cover, with a gray toned Harold on it. He really stuck out against the dark background. The cover is a wrap-around image, connecting Harold’s scribbles with his purple crayon. The illustrations inside are all white, and seemingly drawn by Harold and his purple crayon. It really looked like Harold was illustrating his story. The te ...more
Nov 12, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Margaret by: HarperCollins Treasury of Picture Book Classics
I had never really found an interest in reading this book before recently. By a glance I assumed it was about a boy drawing on his walls with a Crayon. It was by chance that we downloaded a sample book app for the Kindle Fire and my toddler has been able to play with a few scenes. As app it is very neat. Then when we got our hands on Harper Collins Treasury Of Picture Book Classics: A Child's First Collection she saw the book fiver for Harold and insisted we read Harold tonight. In the end I'm g ...more
Stephanie Tara
Apr 01, 2013 Stephanie Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The year was 1973, and I was 7 years old—it was 8pm, and I had just been put to bed. AND—I had just finished reading Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Did I want to go to sleep? NO. Did I own a purple crayon? I sure did! On my desk, in a small Crayola box, was a purple crayon, nestled in between blue and red crayons.

Well, need I say more? Vermeer would have been proud: as realistic forests, cities, deserts, oceans sprouted from every wall. My night light would have to do, for Mom and Dad were not y
Juliana Duarte
Oct 04, 2011 Juliana Duarte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harold and the Purple Crayon is a great book for primary education. It is a very unique book about a boy named Harold who goes on a walk with his purple crayon that can draw anything he wants. He starts off by drawing a sidewalk to walk on and a moon. Harold continues drawing as he goes on his walk and keeps going where ever his imagination takes him. Before Harold knows it he wants to go back to his window and bed but can't find his way back and finally draws his way back to his window and his ...more
Apr 29, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember this book and how much I simply loved the story and the simple, yet, elegant drawing of Harold. I remember its humor. Some have determined that it is empowering, and that I cannot say, although perhaps I am where I am in small measure because of it? I do know that it says a lot to young readers about the power of creativity.
Marcia Letaw
Jan 16, 2016 Marcia Letaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a child I always thought Harold and the Purple Crayon was a frightening book, a lonely book for Harold has nothing; there is nothing in the world before he draws it; he is alone. As an adult I have come to the conclusion that it is a profound book about human loneliness and the way each of us must draw our own world, create our own existence and make it real.
Oct 05, 2009 Carissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
3.) Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Johnson, C. (1955) Harold and the purple crayon. HarperCollins Publishers.
Illustrated by Crockett Johnson
Summary: This story is about a little boy who draws pictures with a purple crayon. His pictures take him and the children reading the story on adventures all over the place. Children will love this story because it allows them to see and experience things they may not have ever seen before. I would use this story as a way to incorporate art
Marissa Gloria
Sep 28, 2011 Marissa Gloria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another one of those books I see as a classic I think all kids should read. It really lets the imagination go wild being able to draw anything that comes to mind and it appears in "real life". I believe children would love reading this book. It isn't colorful but the pictures are very simple and go hand and hand with the words and though they are simple it is because it is about the purple crayon so all of the pictures are simply drawn by the crayon and that is why they aren't colorful. ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Lindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my younger sisters, Simone, was not as strong a reader as me and my older sister had been when we were in Grade 2. We normally got our books from the school or the public library. My clever mother decided to get her to choose some books of her very own, books that were purchased and that Simone could keep, which was a brilliantly effective strategy. Simone became a passionate reader, like the other females in my family.

I still remember the books Simone chose. We read them so many times fo
Jan 16, 2016 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a true classic children's book and was first published in 1955. Harold, a little boy with a thick, super-sized purple crayon uses his super-charged imagination and creates a super-duper world. The gentle story begins, "One night after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." He swipes his crayon and the moon appears, the pathway of his choosing materializes and he continues to swish, swipe and create his desired journey. He uses his common sense ...more
Faller Clementine
Wow. I enjoyed this far more than I expected myself to.
Ryan Vaughan
Feb 24, 2014 Ryan Vaughan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It might seem odd to mention the late George Carlin in a review "Harold and the Purple Crayon" but I can't help remembering something he once said. During one his standup routines he expressed the idea that children should be allowed one hour a day to just daydream and I agree. The best ideas usually occur when allow our minds to roam freely. It makes me wonder if he might have had a fondness for this book ,because it is all about letting the mind roam free in creative play. I had the opportunit ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
discussion post 1-6 2 17 Jan 08, 2015 01:12PM  
post #1 Ortega 1 6 Jan 16, 2013 07:00PM  
! 2 15 Jan 04, 2013 08:11PM  
Were they alive? 8 22 Jun 22, 2012 10:33PM  
Wonderful 13 41 Jun 17, 2012 03:21PM  
  • Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business
  • Make Way for Ducklings
  • Mister Seahorse
  • Little Pea
  • Little Blue and Little Yellow
  • Miss Rumphius
  • Bread and Jam for Frances
  • The Carrot Seed
  • Is Your Mama a Llama?
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
  • Harry the Dirty Dog
  • Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months
  • The Story of Ferdinand
  • Library Lion
  • Leonardo, the Terrible Monster
  • Roxaboxen
  • The Jolly Postman, or Other People's Letters
  • Olivia
pseudonym for David Johnson Leisk
More about Crockett Johnson...

Other Books in the Series

Harold (7 books)
  • Harold's Fairy Tale
  • Harold's Trip to the Sky
  • Harold at the North Pole
  • Harold's Circus
  • A Picture for Harold's Room
  • Harold's ABC

Share This Book

“The sandy beach reminded Harold of picnics. And the thought of picnics made him hungry. So he laid out a nice simple picnic lunch.

There was nothing but pie. But there were all nine kinds of pie that Harold liked best.

When Harold finished his picnic there was quite a lot left. He hated to see so much delicious pie go to waste.

So Harold left a very hungry moose and a deserving porcupine to finish it up.”
More quotes…