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The Day the Crayons Quit

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Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: We quit!

Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. Blue needs a break from coloring all that water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun.

What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?

Debut author Drew Daywalt and New York Times bestseller Oliver Jeffers create a colorful solution in this playful, imaginative story that will have children laughing and playing with their crayons in a whole new way. Join in on the fun and games. Find out why the crayons are mad and how Duncan takes care of this dilemma!

Age Range: 3-6+ / Lexile Score AD730L
Edition MSRP: US $17⁹⁹ (ISBN 978-0-399-25537-3)
Manufactured in China

30 pages, Hardcover

First published June 27, 2013

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About the author

Drew Daywalt

37 books471 followers
Ever since his childhood in one of Ohio’s most haunted houses, writer director Drew Daywalt has been writing escapist fantasy and building worlds of his own. With a degree in Creative Writing, and a concentration in Children’s Literature from Emerson College in Boston, Daywalt set off to Hollywood where he spent years writing for Disney and Universal on such beloved shows as Timon & Pumba, Buzz Lightyear, and Woody Woodpecker, and where his animated series The Wacky World of Tex Avery garnered an Emmy nomination.

His first trip into live action landed him studio screenwriting and feature film directing work with such Hollywood luminaries as Quentin Tarrantino, Lawrence Bender, Tony Scott, Brett Ratner and Jerry Bruckheimer.

With an eye toward picture book writing, Daywalt’s first book THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, debuted on the New York Times Best Seller’s List in June 2013, and has since become a Number One Best Seller.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,321 reviews
2 reviews6 followers
December 4, 2013
Potential Plagiarism? So I've now read The Day the Crayons Quit (Drew Daywalt/Oliver Jeffries) and well, I'm disappointed. It tells the story of Duncan, a little boy who comes home to find his crayons missing and a stack of letters in their place. Each letter is from a different color, and bears an unhappy grievance. The colors say they are overused and so Duncan...uses them? Sorry Red! And too bad Blue! Your days are numbered. And go home Yellow! According to Duncan's picture at the end, Orange is the winner. Supposedly there is a general message of thinking outside the (crayon) box, if you will. Nice theme for a children’s book, if the book went for making sense instead of laughs. I did often wonder what age range the author was aiming for – some of the jokes seemed a little too snarky for kids to understand - but it is funny. I guess the idea was to make parents laugh so hard they didn't notice how shallow it was.

But here’s an interesting thing to ponder: There’s this book from 1997 called The Crayon Box That Talked (Shane Derolf/Michael Letzig). It’s also about a box of crayons that don’t get along, are complaining about each other and refuse to work together. Sound familiar? Except when their owner draws a picture, the crayons see how beautiful the others are and even more so when they all color together. It’s not funny or snarky or clever. It’s sweet. I mean, hey, it’s about diversity and appreciating how different we all are. Makes you want to hug and get all Kumbaya-ya.

The same year the book came out, a television show came out based on the book called the The Crayon Box. Again, the Daywalt book is extremely similar. So since both stories are exactly the same idea with even similar jokes, where the only difference is the message, why is everyone acting like this new Crayon book is so original and awesome? I don't get it. And really, if you had a choice to show your child only one of the books, which one would YOU choose? The more poetic older book with the classic illustrations and lets-all-hold-hands and learn vibe? Or the newer book, with less of a resolution but more giggling? I mean, which one are they truly going to learn from? What are picture books for?

The truth is, I guess you could show them both, and hope they don’t notice how similar they are. But here’s the thing that really bothers me. When I took an online list of the best 25 picture books to my local Barnes and Noble (The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, Owl Moon, The Little House etc.), I could only find about eight of them. They might have been sold out, but even the eight were a little hard to track down. Why isn’t Where the Wild Things Are or StellaLuna given a prime location? Even in this day and age, I know picture books sell, and I have a hard time seeing a parent passing over Dr. Seuss or Mo Willems for some of the forgettable junk that fill the shelves. I sigh a little when I think of how many people bought the Day the Crayons Quit, but have never heard of Harris Burdick. (And if you want your kid to be creative, THAT is the book to buy.) But hooray for the makers of the Crayon story – it’s cute. It’s not original; it’s not ground breaking, but first time out of the gate and on the bestseller list? Nicely done. Very few authors can say as much. In fact, I wonder how many wonderful authors don’t get seen because they don’t have silly jokes or cute animals or recycle “Mommy Loves Me” or “Mouse Gets a New Outfit” stories. I marvel at how lucky we are that once upon a time, someone did publish a book called the Giving Tree, with its serious theme of unconditional love and joke-less story. Amazing.

For me, I think I answered my own question. With books, I want my kid to laugh, but first and foremost, I want her to grow. So I’m headed to the library to find the other crayon book.
Profile Image for Tawfek The Undertaker's Friend.
2,723 reviews2,128 followers
May 1, 2023
I am not even in the rainbow!
- White Crayon.

I was feeling bad for wasting too much time on a game, and not reading as much as i would like, so i went to my new found happy place.
You Know Jenny the Bookish Knight and someone else (was it Anne perhaps?) recommended me children books before when i was feeling depressed, Jenny said they helped her, I thought no way they could help me!
I was wrong! I am sorry!
I really liked the last painting, it should encourage kids to be creative, while the colors of different things are not accurate, it came out actually as an amazing painting!
I read these books outloud with attitude and different personalities, only problem is, i don't think i am changing my voice at all, i just put attitude in my voice lol.
Anyway they are fun, but this was the last one 😢
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,065 reviews1,904 followers
January 25, 2016
Duncan finds a whole bunch of letters from his disgruntled crayons.

Hey Duncan,

It's me, RED crayon. WE NEED to talk. You make me work harder than any of your other crayons. All year long I wear myself out coloring 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!

Your overworked friend,

RED crayon.


Purple crayon is upset that Duncan doesn't color in the lines.

Biege has a hilarious complaint:

Dear Duncan,
I'm tired of being called "light brown" or "dark tan" because I am neither. I am BEIGE and I am proud. I'm also tired of being second place to Mr. Brown Crayon. It's not fair that Brown gets all the bears, ponies and puppies while the only things I get are turkey dinners (if I'm lucky) and wheat, and let's be honest - when was the last time you saw a kid excited about coloring wheat?

Your BEIGE friend,
Beige Crayon

We see a sad, slumped and defeated Beige standing next to a single, solitary wheat stalk. LOL LOL

Gray crayon is upset about having to color huge gray animals like humpback whales, elephants, hippos, and rhinos. He reminds Duncan,

Baby penguins are gray, you know. So are very tiny rocks. Pebbles. How about one of those once in a while to give me a break?

White Crayon is sad he is so invisible. This lament is accompanied by a hilarious illustration titled: White Cat in the Snow by Duncan. LOL LOL

Black Crayon wants to be used more, not just for outlining. He illustrates a world in which children in black swimsuits play with a black beachball underneath a black rainbow. It's funny.

Green Crayon is actually happy with his 'workload' of crocodiles, trees, dinosaurs, and frogs.

Yellow Crayon and Orange Crayon each write in separately, seemingly they each believe they are the "true" color of the sun.

Blue is happy to be Duncan's favorite crayon, but he is sad he's so short and stubby.

Pink Crayon is unhappy that Duncan never uses him because he thinks pink is a "girl's color." Pink encourages him to draw pink dinosaurs, pink monsters, and pink cowboys in order to add some splashes of color to his work.

Peach Crayon is upset because Duncan peeled his wrapper off and now he is 'naked.' I found this storyline strained, but okay.

In the end, Duncan finds a way to make all his crayon friends happy.


- Funny
- Not stupid, uses advanced concepts and advanced vocabulary. Doesn't talk down to children.
- Good illustrations that look like drawings by an actual child.

- Sometimes I think Daywalt was trying too hard, but overall it was cute.

Tl;dr - Cute and funny.
Profile Image for carol..
1,575 reviews8,225 followers
September 14, 2017
A cute little books about Duncan's box of crayons. He goes to use them and discovers a pile of letters from various colors. The letters are mildly amusing, but the accompanying pictures are even better, illustrating each crayon's issue in a spot-on child-like style.


There's often a adult twist, as in the illustration for Pink's letter, which complains that Duncan might be stereotyping Pink as a 'girl's color." The drawing is of a pink dinosaur laughing at an embarrassed pink monster and a cowboy in pink chaps and vest.

Green doesn't have any complaints, he just wishes Yellow and Orange would stop fighting.

Peach crayon feels a little naked without his paper

I didn't have any kids nearby to test this on, but on the whole I suspect that is the kind of kid's book that entertain adults more than kids. (Except the yellow was almost unreadable for these old eyes). I checked into it because the sequel cracked me up (review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ). I love Pea-Green Esteban the Magnificent!

Definitely cute. Three and a half crayons.
Profile Image for Betsy.
Author 8 books2,836 followers
August 4, 2013
It is possible to read too much into a picture book. A funny statement since what were talking about is literature for people who haven't even seen a decade of time pass them by. But historically picture books have been places where prejudices are both intentionally and unintentionally on display. Yet for every Denver by David McKee (a picture book about the beauty of trickle down economics) you'll find fifty people reading WAY too much into something like Rainbow Fish (Communist propaganda) or Click Clack Moo (inculcating kids into unionism). The thing is, picture books are meant to teach and inform our children. Yet along the way a parent or gatekeeper might be worried about the unintentional messages getting pushed along the way. At the end of the day you have to weigh your reactions carefully. You can't be pointing fingers left and right, claiming authorial intent where there is none. Okay. So round about now you're trying to figure out what the heck any of this has to do with The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. I mean, talk about an innocuous title. Why am I going on and on about unintentional messages in works of children's fiction in preface to talking about this book? Well, here's the trouble. I have a major problem with this story and it's entirely possible that it's just in my own head. So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to lay out the facts as they stand and you can judge for yourself whether or not this book does indeed make a major you-can't-do-that-in-the-21st-century mistake, or if I'm simply suffering from a case of Reading Too Much Into It. Either way, it sure makes this Daywalt/Jeffers collaboration into an interesting point of discussion.

Duncan's your average kid. Not the kind of person who's going to expect that when he reaches for his crayons at school he is, instead, going to find himself with a bundle of letters. Each letter is from a different crayon voicing their complaints. Says gray, "I know that elephants are gray but that's a lot of space to color in all by myself." Or pink saying, "Could you please use me sometime to color the occasional pink dinosaur or monster or cowboy?" Red and blue need a rest, white feels empty, yellow and orange both claim the sun, and all black ever wanted in life was, for once, to color in a rainbow or a beach ball. By the end of the letters Duncan wants to make the crayons happy. And that's when he comes up with the perfect solution to everybody's woes.

Now let's talk crayon history for a bit. This is fun. In 1962 the U.S. Civil Rights Movement was underway. America was going through big changes. Assumptions that had lain dormant for years were finally getting challenged and even crayons were getting a double glance. You see 1962 was the year that Crayola decided to officially change the crayon known as "flesh" to "peach". You see where I am going with this, I suspect. While white children certainly would use the color as flesh, it wasn't exactly on the up and up to assume that white was the de facto skin color. Fast forward to 2013 and the publication of The Day the Crayons Quit. Peach does indeed make an appearance in this book and in that section complains vociferously that its wrapper has been removed. "Now I'm NAKED and too embarrassed to leave the crayon box. I don't even have any underwear!" That Daywalt is linking peach to flesh again is no crime. Interestingly, on the previous page the pink crayon has been making a very different complaint about never being allowed to draw cowboys or dinos or monsters. The monster that it HAS drawn is covering its private parts, obviously believing itself to be naked as well, as the dinosaur points and laughs. So. Pink and peach are clearly equated with flesh tones.

Then what's the deal with brown?

There is only one vaguely brownish crayon in this book and it is the much maligned beige. The official brown does not make an appearance it would seem. Beige's sadness is the fact that while "Brown gets all the bears, ponies and puppies . . . the only things I get are turkey dinners (if I'm lucky) and wheat."

Mmm hmm.

This is precisely where the difficulty comes into play. How much am I reading into this through my own prejudices? Let me give you a bit of comparison. This year is also seeing the publication of The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers. In that particular book a little white rabbit keeps seeing a "scary" big black rabbit that he runs away from. The black rabbit is, in fact, the little rabbit's own shadow and at the end he comes to love the big black rabbit after all. A librarian recently commented to me that it would have been far preferable if the little rabbit had been brown or some other color. Otherwise you have a book where a white character fears a big black one. At first I was inclined to agree, but after thinking about it I wasn't so sure. After all, the white rabbit's fears are entirely in its own head. There's also the fact that the book, I believe, is originally Australian, so the author wasn't working with a lot of the codes and keys common in American culture. I was even reminded of the huge brouhaha surrounding The Rabbits' Wedding by Garth Williams. In 1958 the Alabama state library system removed the book from circulation because it featured a black rabbit and a white rabbit getting married. But sometimes a rabbit is just a rabbit.

So is a crayon just a crayon? I think the difference may lie in what a kid gets out of reading this book. In the case of The Black Rabbit, few kids are going to equate themselves with fluffy bunnies. Even if they do, the black rabbit is ultimately the hero of the story. There's a bit of a difference with crayons. Kids are constantly coloring themselves and the people they love with the crayons they have on hand. Crayola, knowing this, even released a brand of multicultural crayons of varying brown tones in response to the public's desire for that very product. So to produce a book where pink and flesh are equated with skin tones and that possibility isn't even considered with beige or brown makes for a complicated reading. It's an easy mistake to make if you're not thinking about it at first, but you would have thought that someone in the course of editing this thing might have brought the point up with Mr. Daywalt. Heck, they might have brought it up with Jeffers too, since he's the one who came up with the naked monster picture in the first place.

Getting away from brown, beige, and peach crayons entirely, let's look at the book in terms of its other merits. When I was a kid I definitely ascribed personalities to inanimate objects. Not just dolls and toys, oh no. I could turn a game of War into a long drawn out romantic epic, thanks to the personalities ascribed to various playing cards. And crayons were no exception. Each one had a different part to play. They dealt with jealousies and romances, the whole nine yards. So in that frame of mind, The Day the Crayons Quit speaks to something very real. Kids like to believe that the objects that they play with are as invested in the experience as the kids themselves. So Daywalt has clearly found a unique but necessary niche. If he follows the book up with a story of playing cards we'll know he's on the right track.

This is also an epistolary picture book. I don't know if Daywalt knows this, but a common assignment given by a variety of different elementary school teachers requires kids to read epistolary books (Dear Mrs. LaRue, The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman, etc.). As such, The Day the Crayons Quit is no doubt destined to remain on multiple children's book lists for decades and decades to come.

Which is a bit of a pity since the book itself is tailor made for an adult readership. Sure, some kids are going to get a real kick out of it. But as I read through the book I kept thinking that were it not for the art of Oliver Jeffers, this title would be a difficult read. After all, it's pretty much all about the words. Jeffers does what he can to give as much life and vitality as he can to the text, but there are twelve letters in here and around the orange and yellow crayons you'll be forgiven if your attention starts to wane.

That's why the success of the book (and success it indeed is) can be ascribed primarily to its illustrator. I began to notice that the childlike style of the art can really, believably be the style of a kid. This is undoubtedly why Jeffers was picked for the project in the first place. Aside from David Shannon it can be difficult to find artists that replicate children's art styles without coming off as half-cooked. Jeffers has also taken great pains to put in as many small clever details as possible, and it makes for a very rewarding rereading. At first you wouldn't notice. His Santa on a fire truck is straightforward. The dragon accidentally burning a clump of grapes is cute but for me the book really picks up with (no surprise here) the moment when Jeffers gets to draw a penguin. Even the paper he chooses for each crayon is interesting and significant. Admittedly I was a little surprised that the purple crayon's letter wasn't written on lined paper (since it's such a stickler for staying inside the lines) while the gray crayon's was. His faux coloring books are fun in and of themselves but it's the final picture that's worth it. There are a lot of hat tips to the crayons' demands to be found here, from black rainbows to white cats. I think the character of Duncan still totally forgot to pay heed to blue's request, but otherwise it's on the up and up. You could even ignore that all the humans are drawn with pink or peach or white crayons, if you had half a mind to.

That's sort of what makes the problems I have with the book such a bummer. There's really good stuff going on here! Oliver Jeffers is fun to watch no matter what he does and Daywalt has the makings of a fine author for kids. The troubles come when you look at what the book is saying. Fans of a certain stripe are sure to disregard my concerns with a wave of their hand. "She's reading WAY too much into this", they might say. Probably. But it seems to me that you cannot write a book about crayons and mention peach and pink as naked without acknowledging that not every kid in the world thinks of those colors as a flesh tones. I mean, that's just obvious. Here's beige again: "I am BEIGE and I am proud." Beige power, eh? Come on, little crayon. Time for you to think outside the box.
Profile Image for Melki.
6,042 reviews2,390 followers
September 10, 2017
Yeah, I'm late to this coloring party, but the children's section of our local library doesn't have a copy of this book. I had to creep deep down to the bowels of the building to visit our county librarian Joe in his dungeon to find this title. Poor Joe is nearly colorless from lack of sunshine, and deeply opinionated with a skewed sense of humor. (Hell, I guess most of us who toil at the library are like that.) After he played me his song of the day - All in a Family by Loudon Wainwright - he cheerfully located the book for me. (Seriously? Joe has enough free time to learn a new song on his guitar each day? When he retires, I'm applying for his job. Even though it means working out of a dungeon.)

This is all apropos of nothing, except to say that the book was worth the trip . . . and putting up with Joe. In it we learn that Duncan's crayons are not happy. And what better way for crayons to express their disapproval than by leaving handwritten notes for their owner to find.


I guess some reviewers find the crayons too "whiny," but I see nothing wrong with an inanimate object objecting to being used improperly. And, Duncan's crayons have a litany of complaints from overuse to who makes a better sun - yellow or orange. And the poor peach crayon - it's all naked 'cos Duncan peeled off its paper!


Luckily for colored wax everywhere, Duncan proves to be an excellent mediator, and an acceptable (not to mention colorful) solution is found. He brought color to this librarian's drab day. Maybe he can bring peace to the Middle East. (He can't do any worse than Jared.)

Wonder what song I'll hear when I return the book on Monday . . .
April 25, 2021
We’ve had this book for a few years, but out of the blue my kids asked to read it tonight. I forgot how funny and clever this book is. We all laughed and picked our favorite crayons. We’ve read this so many times and it’s still a hit with them. Easy 5 stars!
Profile Image for Becky.
1,384 reviews1,650 followers
January 1, 2015
This book was mentioned in a conversation here on Goodreads, with a link to a reading on Youtube, so I watched it. And I kinda loved it.

The book is short, as most children's books are, so the reading was only 7 minutes long, but I almost wish that it was longer, that the pictures were shown more, and that I could really appreciate the art that these crayons produced. They give of themselves, and only ask to be appreciated and fairly used in return... but when they feel mistreated, they decide to demand better treatment. Until then, they tender their resignation.

And honestly, I really liked that message. If you feel mistreated or are unhappy - speak up and try to change the situation. If nobody knows that you're unhappy, it's unlikely that anything is going to change on its own, so you have to have the self-respect to stand up for your own needs. I didn't feel like it was a message of selfishness or laziness on behalf of the crayons - they just wanted to be respected and appreciated and treated fairly.

I also quite liked the message from the little boy Duncan's perspective. He was asked to change his habits to make his beloved crayons happier, and he took their needs into consideration and changed for them - and the experience was rewarding for all.

It was also quite cute. The artwork was little kid awesome, and I loved the epistolary style, as well as the mature humor snuck in. It's a fun little story that little kids AND big kids (like myself) can enjoy. I'll definitely be picking this one up for the nephew. And maybe myself. ;)
Profile Image for Archit.
824 reviews3,217 followers
August 1, 2018
So the crayons have decided to give their resignation letters to Duncan, a kid who wants nothing but draw beautiful things. The letters are artistic and wonderful. But will they help Duncan in any way?

Profile Image for Ronyell.
956 reviews321 followers
January 18, 2015

Now, I have been looking around for some picture books that were heavily raved about by various readers and I just happened to stumble upon this unique book called “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt along with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers. Honestly, this book was truly creative and interesting to read all the way through!

One day in class, Duncan decided to take out his crayons to start drawing a picture when he suddenly got a stack of letters that were all address to him. When Duncan started reading the letters, he realized that all of his crayons were complaining to him about either how little he uses them or how much he uses them for his drawings and that they want to be treated better.

How can Duncan make the crayons feel better?

Read this book to find out!

I have to say that this book was pretty interesting for a book about crayons and I really loved the way that Drew Daywalt wrote the story as the story is told mostly through the letters written by the crayons and how they are complaining to Duncan, the little boy, about how they are not treated fairly and that they want to be used a bit better whenever Duncan does his drawings. I also loved the fact that we actually have a children’s story that has the characters actually protesting against being treated unfairly and yet, make that into a fun experience for small children who enjoy drawing things with their crayons. That aspect of the book makes the story extremely interesting and creative to read and I think that this book would help children be more creative with their own ideas on either writing stories or drawing pictures. Oliver Jeffers’ artwork is truly creative and cute to look at, especially of the various drawings done by the crayons as they look extremely childlike and yet they express the concerns that the crayons have with Duncan, such as the image of the Gray Crayon being upset at having to draw large animals like elephants, rhinoceroses and humpback whales and you can see the large childlike drawings of those animals at the right side of the page, while the gray crayon looks small and frightened by these animals.


The reason why I gave this book a four star rating was because even though the story was pretty interesting, the letters that the crayons wrote to Duncan tend to be extremely long and it made me a bit frustrated since I think that the humor in the letters still would have been there, if they were to shorten the letters down to a few sentences and still get the crayons’ points across.

Overall, “The Day the Crayons Quit” is an extremely interesting and creative story about how children can use their imaginations to create something gorgeous and creative for their artwork! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the Crayons’ letters might be a bit too long for smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Profile Image for Christine.
241 reviews17 followers
August 28, 2018
Some reviewers were upset about this children's book, feeling that the crayon colors did not adequately represent the range of skin tones of all children. I disagree. As a retired kindergarten and second grade teacher, who taught mainly in Title I schools with a very multicultural setting, I loved this book. It was also beloved by my students, of all complexions! And nary a parent ever complained, not even the complainingest-of-them-all. For self-portraits, incidentally, we used the Crayola brand "Multicultural Crayons," with a range of skin tone colors! They were well-liked by my students... but honestly, having a crayon to match their skin was of less interest to most kids than hoarding the 'highly-valued' metallic crayons or even chalk. (They all swiped chalk from the blackboard ledge. I still have no idea why...) My medium-brown-skinned kindergartners were just as likely to give themselves lavender skin in self-portraits. When asked why? "Because I like that color!" One peachy-pink-skinned second-grader would color himself scarlet red: "Because I'm mad today!" The imaginations of children... a wonderful thing.
Profile Image for Erica.
815 reviews10 followers
December 4, 2013
This is one of the funniest picture books, laugh-out-loud funny, I've read in a long time. One day, a little boy Duncan goes to get his crayons and instead finds a stack of letters. All of his crayons have written him a letter expressing their grievances and why they have quit. They are not a happy bunch, red is overworked, blue is stumpy and tired of being the favorite color year after year, and yellow and orange are arguing over who is the true color of the sun. Their argument is making the other crayons miserable.

Each spread features the letter from the color and drawings by Duncan or his coloring books. I loved the variety of papers on which the crayons wrote their letters.

A very funny book that I hope is as funny for kids as it was for an adult reader. Adult readers will see typical child behavior in each one of the crayons that a child might not pick up on.

Suggested for ages 4 and up

Profile Image for Lisa Vegan.
2,802 reviews1,234 followers
August 17, 2013
I haven’t been reading many picture books lately, but with large groups of college students above and below me (don’t get me started) while I can’t focus on my current novel, I was able to concentrate on a picture book, and thanks to Goodreads friend Kathryn for encouraging me to read this particular book, and due to it being due at the library Monday, I just read it, and I’m glad I did.

It’s a fun book, funny and sweet and perceptive. It’s got terrific art (having the illustrator being the same artist who did the pictures for the book This Moose Belongs to Me was also reason I was interested in this book) and the large picture one page from the end is really wonderful.

1 star off for the page with the “happy farm” and the one with the zoo, but mostly because I don’t like the idea of art being graded with letter grades when the artist is at the crayon stage in the early school years. I’m okay with it in college and high school, especially for art majors where I suppose it’s a necessity.

Despite my few reservations, I do highly recommend the book, either for read aloud (one to one or for groups) and for independent readers too, if their reading skills are sufficiently advanced to be able to read slightly atypically written letters in various colors.

I love the message of the book, even though it is extremely didactic, and the humor and the pictures are wonderful.

So, this weekend I might try to read more of my “extra” books = picture books, art books, etc. I really enjoyed reading this one. It’s a winner.
Profile Image for Minh Nhân Nguyễn.
174 reviews283 followers
August 30, 2018
5 sao

Picture book cho trẻ em có những tiêu chuẩn đánh giá của riêng nó. Nhiều cuốn nội dung rất đơn giản nhưng vẫn có điểm cao vì nó có mục đích đề ra cho mình và hoàn thành tốt được mục đích đó. Người lớn đọc vào có thể sẽ thấy nhạt nhẽo, vô vị nhưng đó lại là một món ăn 'đậm đà' đối với lũ trẻ. Bởi thế thang điểm đánh giá sách dành cho thiếu nhi của mình sẽ rất khác sách dành cho người lớn.

Còn với cuốn này thì không cần xét sách dành cho thiếu nhi hay người lớn, nó vẫn xứng đáng với điểm số cao nhất :).

Nội dung phải nói là sáng tạo. Những bức thư của đám sáp màu tuy mang tiếng vùng lên "mắng vốn" cậu chủ nhưng lời lẽ, ý tứ hết sức trẻ con, đáng yêu.

Cách trình bày thì càng đáng yêu thêm gấp bội, dù chỉ là những hình nguệch ngoạc trên nền giấy trắng nhưng với những sắc màu tươi tắn cũng đủ làm sáng bừng lên trang sách. Các bức thư được viết tay như chữ trẻ con càng làm tăng độ "kawaii" cho lời lẽ trong đó.

Nói chung thì cuốn này dạy cho bọn trẻ rất nhiều bài học, từ làm quen với các màu sắc, biết thương yêu đồ vật của mình, cách lên tiếng khi không hài lòng và quan trọng là biết được không có giới hạn nào cho việc sáng tạo. Tất cả đều được trình bày trong một hình thức bắt mắt, đáng yêu, hấp dẫn đối với cả người lớn. Mong là Nhã Nam sẽ làm luôn phần tiếp theo của cuốn này. Trước đó thì để mình tìm đọc các cuốn khác cùng tác giả cái đã :).
Profile Image for Amy.
1,282 reviews4 followers
July 27, 2016
Stop the presses--the best new Children's book of 2013 is in and it is "The Day the Crayons Quit", no arguments.
Hysterical story of a poor, little boy who goes to school to discover numerous handwritten (in crayon of course) aggrieved letters from his crayons. They are pissed off. Some are being used too much (blue) some are not being used at all (white) and some are in disputes with one another (orange vs. yellow). Much drama in the crayon box and they have all decided to QUIT.
I embarrassed myself at the circulation desk reading it because I kept barking out laughter. The illustrations are fantastic (same guy who illustrated "This Moose Belongs to Me", another one of my faves) and the text is spot on.
This is the kind of picture book that adults will love and kids will find hysterical. A sure win-win and one that a family could read together over and over again. Loads to look at it in the illustrations and the individual personalities of the crayons really comes through.

Bravo Mr. Daywalt!!
Profile Image for Shaikhah.
148 reviews36 followers
October 23, 2017
Very funny how the Crayons were fighting.

Short and nice, loved it. kids will enjoy it.
Profile Image for Kristin.
325 reviews
February 6, 2015
I don't always review books that my son brings home from the school library (unless I love or HATE them haha) but this one made the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards and several of you have it on your "to-read" list.

First, my son and I really enjoyed the story and the illustrations; he had to examine the expressions of each crayon and discuss their moods and well as the pictures that were drawn using the crayons.

I loved the authors unique concept. So many children's books tend repeat the same themes these days.

He really got a kick out of peach crayon...and understood the humor in it.

My one gripe in it though is the font used for the story. To me, this is a pretty BIG problem. The whole point of these books is to get children reading, and when the text is too messy and out of line, it is really difficult for them to read on their own. I ended up having to read all of the crayon writing while he read the pages with typed text (which wasn't much!).

All in all, a cute book, but authors of children's books should really be cogniscent as to whether or not their target audience can actually read the book, and not because of their lack of reading skills!

Profile Image for Noah Nichols.
Author 3 books112 followers
October 4, 2017

They really do. I've learned a lot from this imaginatively witty picture book—like how Red Crayon has gotten the shaft, working holidays (Christmas and Valentine's Day are the absolute worse for him) and coloring in way more than he should. Hell, I don't blame the guy for being so fed up! Or how about Yellow and Orange's sickening rivalry? They're at each other's non-existent throats over who the "true" color of the sun is and it's just sad they can't hug it out. But Black Crayon gets dogged out the most, man. More kids should use the underappreciated color to fill in beach balls. I mean, COME ON! He's tired of being the outline only!! Not cool, children...not cool at all.
Profile Image for Kaethe.
6,453 reviews475 followers
July 17, 2014
The Day the Crayons Quit - Drew Daywalt
The crayons quit because they're all a bit tired of coloring the same old things. Each crayon writes a separate letter, explaining exactly what they're each tired off. [The letters look really good, by the bye] and there's a sample of the coloring they're talking about.

The good news is, Duncan is a responsible crayon owner, and does his best to accede to their requests. The result is fabulous.

Creative and amusing.

The more I think about it, the more I am in favor of children's books preaching the message of collective bargaining.

Library copy.
Profile Image for Hilary .
2,264 reviews405 followers
July 21, 2017
3.5 stars, lovely illustrations and I really like the hand written letters. Not as funny as 'The day The Crayons' came Home. I didn't like the part about the naked crayon being embrassed and how this was seen to be giggly? I would like young children not to have to worry about a body being naked or find anything to giggle about. 5 stars for the artwork.
Profile Image for Molly.
342 reviews126 followers
October 23, 2015

“One day in class, Duncan went
to take out his crayons and found
a stack of letters with his name
on them.”


What happens when your crayons go on strike? Duncan has a problem he has to solve, and soon ... it's hard to make EVERY crayon happy. There are those that think they work too much, the ones they think they work too little or their use in the coloring of a picture is cliché ... or they need a new wrapper and refuse to work in the nude ... those that have a dispute between them, like about who is better to depict the sun, or those that think their color should over-spill outside the lines .... or like poor Pink Crayon


that hasn't been used ONCE .... EVER!!

Can Duncan sort this mess and make ALL the crayons happy?

.....AND clothed?

Profile Image for bookrockbetty.
249 reviews79 followers
November 11, 2013
Oh my goodness, this book was fabulous!!!! The Baby Bettys giggled and so did Mr. Betty & I! The illustrations are adorable, and the letters from the crayons are hilarious! The Baby Bettys found the Peach Crayon to be the most fascinating. Upon finishing the book they immediately peeled the paper off of every peach crayon in the house! Personally, I got a kick out of the Yellow and Orange crayons fighting over who should be used to color the sun! So, so cute-- we have read it about a dozen times already! They are requesting that we read it over and over again. :) Some picture books are almost painful for the parent to read, but not this one! The best part is that it encourages creativity and thinking outside the lines!

Two things happened after we finished the book: 1. The Baby Bettys obviously colored. 2. All peach crayons were stripped of their wrappers!

For full review on blog: http://wp.me/p34MKi-1Xd
Profile Image for Sad Sunday (Books? Me?!? NEVER!!!) .
358 reviews178 followers
November 4, 2018
Book about crayons, you say?


Yes, I am an adult, and I like crayons. And books, too. The Day the Crayons Quit is a fun read (and author's name is Drew, pun intended). The idea behind this book is great, nice illustration and really greatly written, but I didn't like the abrupt ending. I really wish like there was more in problem-solution way or how Duncan found his crayons, or how he was searching for them. Now I was left wishing for more and the whole book felt just hurriedly finished.

I hope my crayons won't quit.

Profile Image for midnightfaerie.
1,985 reviews122 followers
October 17, 2013
A book my 5 yr old as well as my twin 3 yr olds loved. A solid reading level 3 book, this cute story keeps all ages engaged with the bright colorful pictures and cute story. Even though advanced readers can read on their own, I'd highly recommend this one being a family read. Just an adorable story and so unique. Even though it was a level 3 read, my twin 3 yr olds loved it as well, and all my kids were tickled "pink" (pun intended) that the crayons revolted. A must have for any children's library.
Profile Image for Janene.
489 reviews8 followers
December 4, 2013
One of the things I love about an occasional visit to Barnes and Noble is getting my hands on a darling (brand spanking new) little gem like this in the children's book section.

I read it to myself. Smiled a lot. Then I called Zach over and read it to him. And I'm putting it on my to-read shelf, only so I can remember to for sure find it again and read it to my other little guys. Sometimes I think I would make an excellent children's book buyer for my local library. :o)

One day Duncan pulls out his well-used crayon box, and instead of his faithful friends, he finds a pile of letters they've written to him, detailing their complaints and other observations. Super creative and entertaining, Zach and I spent time today recalling some of the letters and laughing anew.

I just plain loved it!
Profile Image for Vaani Mahesh.
1 review477 followers
May 1, 2021
This book is my reference material for confrontation :)
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