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The Day the Crayons Quit (Crayons)

4.41  ·  Rating Details ·  26,409 Ratings  ·  2,816 Reviews
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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 Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other.

What is Duncan to do? Debut
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published June 27th 2013 by Philomel Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Uri Newman No. I think when he entered the wolrd of the crayons he easily imagined what problems they have. somehow the blue and the red are too similar, in my…moreNo. I think when he entered the wolrd of the crayons he easily imagined what problems they have. somehow the blue and the red are too similar, in my opinion. Both complaining about over-use.(less)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime
95th out of 1,615 books — 1,625 voters
Journey by Aaron BeckerThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew DaywaltThe Dark by Lemony SnicketFlora and the Flamingo by Molly IdleMr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter  Brown
2014 Mock Caldecott
2nd out of 79 books — 224 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 02, 2013 Tatiana rated it it was amazing
This is a hilarious, creative book of letters from a group of disgruntled crayons, expressing their dismay with their young owner, Duncan. I'm hard pressed to pick my favorite crayon letter, but beige's words had me laughing, and the war between yellow and orange was a hoot. The letters written by Drew Daywalt are pure, humorous joy and the illustrations by Oliver Jeffers are made for giggles. For ages four and up.
Nov 11, 2013 bookrockbetty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baby-bettys
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 t ...more
Jun 06, 2013 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Duncan is all set to color, but when he opens his crayon box he finds all sorts of letters written to him by his crayons. And they are all letters of complaint! First, Red wants to complain about being overworked because of all of his work on apples and fire engines. He even works holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day! Other crayons like Beige are complaining about not being used enough. Then there is the feud between Orange and Yellow about how is the real color of the sun, since Duncan u ...more
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 ot ...more
Dec 03, 2013 Janene rated it it was amazing
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 hi
Lisa Vegan
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
Jul 17, 2014 Kaethe rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 04, 2013 Betsy rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing
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 mys
Aug 09, 2013 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! Worth all the hype. I loved it. Wonderfully creative, humorous, and wise. The letters from each crayon are such a hoot, yet speak to such deeply human emotions and relationships. And I got such a big smile out of the ending. Highly recommended!
Dec 04, 2013 Rusty rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Mary Borgese
What an amazing book this is for children to read or have read to them. Drew Daywalt writes this creatively hilarious picture book story about crayons that have had enough and are complaining to their owner about the hard work they put into coloring all different kinds of characters that illustrate the same color they are. On top of that, some crayons write about how they are never used or they are used only for certain pictures and not others. The illustrations, drawn by Oliver Jeffers, work pe ...more
The crayons are tired, overworked, and emotionally unhappy...they want a break. In a series of letters to their boy Duncan, each crayon describes how it has been used, what it has drawn, and how it makes them feel. Each note is written in the respective crayon's colour in a childish hand. With certain words emphasized all in capitals, and awkward letters strewn throughout, truly one could believe a child wrote these, except for the perfect spelling which betrays the books adult author.

To make th
Oct 17, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
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 libra ...more
R.S. Carter
Mar 12, 2014 R.S. Carter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
When your kid has read this book several times at school, several more times at the library, and still insists that you MUST BUY IT FOR HIM, it's a good book. Although I think it's a little young for him, the idea of personified crayons really tickled his imagination. I read it to him tonight and you know what? It was really fun.
Jan 01, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it
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 t
Sep 30, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing
I just heard someone read this like an audiobook and they did a great job. You can go see the video of them reading it here! I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the book while they read it. The audiobook reader is Rachel Hanlin.:

This was a story about a little boy named Duncan and his crayons who had all sent him letters saying they were tired and needed a break or were not used at all or felt left out.

This is a pretty good children's book so definitely chec
I read this because it won The Goodreads Choice Award 2013-Picture Book (I am making a point of reading the winners). Reading it from an adult's perspective at first I thought the crayons were whiny but then I started to chuckle. Thinking outside the box seems to be the message. Cute.
Amber J.
Nov 29, 2014 Amber J. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I don't think I enjoyed a children's book this much since I read Dr. Seuss books years ago when I was a kid. I bought two copies of this book for my godchildren, but I should have bought another one just for me lol--it's that much fun.

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
❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...

Hilarious book for my boys (as well as me and hubby). It's always nice to read a kid's book that appeals to adults as well. It was filled with imagination, creativity, and a great deal of humor.

Kristin ❋extols death with luminescent brilliance❋
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 theme
Jan 24, 2016 Carmen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
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 upse
بثينة العيسى
Aug 18, 2015 بثينة العيسى rated it it was amazing
This book is fabulous! I totally love it! Beautiful text, so alive, and the pictures are brilliant.
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)
Now, this is awesome and all, but here's the letter from the teacher (That would be me!)

Oct 23, 2015 Molly rated it really liked it
Recommended to Molly by: Alienor

“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 ab
Nov 06, 2015 Katerina rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 17, 2016 Julia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, 2015
Oh, man. This was so cute. Basically all the crayons in a 12-pack box write a letter to their owner, Duncan, about their various ills they have with his usage of them. He solves all of their problems with one coloring sheet. What a great kid that Duncan is.
Feb 10, 2016 Princolitas rated it it was amazing
Omg!!! Se ha convertido en uno de mis libros infantiles favoritos para siempre, me hizo reír muchísimo, se supone que estaba leyéndolo en voz alta para mis host kids, haciendo diferentes voces a los personajes y terminé riéndome muchísimo. Es sumamente original la forma en que cada crayón escribe su carta con motivos de querer renunciar a su dueño, un pequeño niño.
May 15, 2016 Kelli rated it really liked it
Guess who was mystery reader on Friday?! My daughter chose this book for me to read and it was immediately evident that third graders love this book (potentially because the word "naked" is used three times in the letter from peach crayon).

This story is a collection of letters (with accompanying crayon drawings) from the crayons, mostly registering complaints. It is unique in that the illustrator replicates children's drawings very well and the kids love this. (I loved that the book was really
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Thoughts on Readings: Instruction in the Classroom 1 2 Oct 24, 2016 09:44AM  
Instruction in the Classroom 1 1 Oct 20, 2016 06:17AM  
Around the Year i...: The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt 5 36 Jul 09, 2016 05:38PM  
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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, Buz ...more
More about Drew Daywalt...

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