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The Day the Crayons Quit


4.42  ·  Rating details ·  38,998 ratings  ·  4,124 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 t
Hardcover, 30 pages
Published June 27th 2013 by Philomel Books
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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)

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Average rating 4.42  · 
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 ·  38,998 ratings  ·  4,124 reviews

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Sep 03, 2013 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
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
► Now, this is awesome and all, but here's the letter from the teacher (That would be me!)

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Jul 06, 2015 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.

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.
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 cowbo
Aug 04, 2013 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 Click Clac ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidstuff
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 cheerfu ...more
Archit Ojha
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks
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?

Apr 22, 2014 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

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 rea
May 15, 2016 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 done
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
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 bran ...more
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 bei
Aug 08, 2013 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 emb
بثينة العيسى
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is fabulous! I totally love it! Beautiful text, so alive, and the pictures are brilliant.
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Very funny how the Crayons were fighting.

Short and nice, loved it. kids will enjoy it.
Noah Nichols
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-loaned

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#CrayonsMatter
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 29, 2013 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.

May 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Hilary by: Found in the library
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.
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
❀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.

Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, original and not tedious for adults to read. Great book to give as a gift.
Oct 22, 2015 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 about who is better to deHEH!
Jun 02, 2013 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
Jul 01, 2013 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)

Elaine Mullane
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books, 2018
This is such a clever and imaginative story! Duncan loves to colour. One day he opens his box of crayons to find a stack of letters addressed to him. Red crayon has written that he is tired of being overused for fine engines, Christmas and Valentine’s Day; neat-freak Purple is sick of being used outside the lines of grapes and dragons; Beige is sick of playing second fiddle to brown; Grey is tired from being the colour of choice of all Duncan’s big animals; and White is fed up of only being used ...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.
Sad Sunday (If I say it's bad, it's bad)
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
Oct 17, 2013 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
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is Amazon's children's book of 2013 , and it is adorable. The crayons are mad.The poor red crayon is overused for firetrucks , apples, and strawberries and has to work all through the Christmas holidays as everything then is red. Blue is short and stubby from being the favorite, while pink has been used but once all year. White just disappears on the page , and Black is tired of just outlining things. My 6 year old grandson loves this book , almost as much as his grandma. Very cute illustra ...more
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The day the Crayons Quit 1 3 Oct 02, 2019 05:14AM  
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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

Other books in the series

Crayons (9 books)
  • The Day the Crayons Came Home
  • The Crayons' Book of Colors
  • The Crayons' Book of Numbers
  • Love from the Crayons
  • The Crayons' Christmas
  • The Crayon Box
  • The Crayons: A Set of Books and Finger Puppets
  • The Day the Crayons Quit Orange 12" Plush