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Red: A Crayon's Story

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  6,508 ratings  ·  1,146 reviews
A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis in the new picture book by the New York Times–bestselling creator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo and It's an Orange Aardvark! Funny, insightful, and colorful, Red: A Crayon's Story, by Michael Hall, is about being true to your inner self and following your own path despite obstacles that may come your way. Red ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by Greenwillow Books
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Average rating 4.39  · 
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 ·  6,508 ratings  ·  1,146 reviews

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Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book for children about being transgender, is

Wait, what? I thought this was about crayons.

Yes. A blue crayon with a red label. A crayon that "presents" as red but colors blue and leaves everyone confused and baffled.

I mean, no matter what Red tries to do, he colors blue. That's just him. He's blue. Even though he's in a red label. However, neither him nor any of his friends and family can understand this.

His teacher thought he needed more practice.

She encourages him to draw strawberries, b
Elyse  Walters
Introduces empathy...teaches diversity...proud to be you...proud to be me.
**Love**: [acceptance of self & others] ....
Creative > many ways to interpret - A love book for little and big readers - encourages discussions!
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Almost since their very conception children’s books were meant to teach and inform on the one hand, and to inform one's moral fiber on the other. Why who can forget that catchy little 1730 ditty from The Childe’s Guide that read, “The idle Fool / Is whipt at School”? It’s got a beat and you can dance to it! And as the centuries have passed children’s books continue to teach and instruct. Peter Rabbit takes an illicit nosh and loses his fancy duds. Pinocchio stretches the truth a little and ends ...more
Wow!! What a timely and wonderful message!!

When I first saw this book, I thought it was going to be along the lines of The Day the Crayons Quit. Boy, was I wrong! More importantly, I was pleasantly surprised. I do not want to ruin this for anyone, but Red: A Crayon's Story has nothing to do with crayons and colors. Michael Hall weaves a story about acceptance and the importance of being who you are. Hall speaks to the necessity of not forcing an individual to conform to some abitrary standa
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Many a times we start believing what others tell us, without giving it a thought that they can be wrong. Their suggestions can be wrong and they might be advising it unintentionally. Because most of the advice are generalized. It may or may not hold true for everyone.

Red : A Crayon's Story teaches the value of encouraging others. Because you never know how and who can do what wonders!
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Who thought I was going to like this one so so much!

Red: A Crayon's Story worth finding out!

Sometimes, we never realize our potential until motivated by others. And if people around you are discouraging, the game changes.

This story shows how important it is to be with encouraging and supportive friends and family.

I suppose this review has spoilers...if a picture book can have spoilers...

On the surface it's a heartwarming story about a crayon whose label says "red" but is really blue.

Dig a little deeper and it's a story about being true to yourself and learning who you are.

Let's go one more level, and I don't know if this is how it was intended by the author or not but this is how I instantly saw the book before I even opened the cover: This is a book about/for kids struggling with gender identity. As a
Sara Grochowski
In this new picture book from Michael Hall, one crayon has spent his whole life believing he’s red, until the day a new friend allows him to see beyond his label and realize he’s been blue all along. This book looks deceptively simple, but, underneath the cover, readers young and old will find an inspiring story about joy of being true to oneself. I want to hand this book to everyone who walks through the door.
“He was red…but he wasn’t very good at it.” So begins this beautiful, moving story about a blue crayon that’s been labeled “red” due to a factory mistake. Unable to see beyond his red label, the other crayons and art supplies keep expecting and demanding certain things of him, but no matter how hard he tries to match the label assigned him, the crayon simply can’t be—and isn’t, and never will be—red.

Everyone has something to say about the crayon:
‘Sometimes I wonder if he’s really red at all.’
Red is a crayon unlike his peers. Whilst everyone around him is able to colour in with the title given to them be it: berry, olive, scarlet or brown, Red just keeps churning out blue. Those around him think they are being helpful, even the narrator, by encouraging him to keep trying or to persevere since it will come to him in the end. Red, however hard he tries though, keeps producing blue. It is only when a new friend comes along with an insight far greater than Blue's current family and frien ...more
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would suggest that perhaps Crayola is secretly commissioning positive psychology picture books about crayons with identity issues to boost its sales. But then again, maybe it's just a coincidence that Drew Daywalt/Oliver Jeffers and Michael Hall are all writing/drawing about crayons in crisis, whether abandoned, lost or just plain confused by being mislabelled. The core message of this book is: be who you really are, not what the packaging says you should be. P ...more
Katt Hansen
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
A good book about being true to yourself. A mislabeled crayon tries to fit in. What I loved was how none of the other crayons seemed able to see what was right in front of their eyes - that regardless of everything that was tried, Red colored blue. I think there are children that will definitely see themselves in this book - and more importantly will see those who are different around them and accept them for who they ARE, not as they should be. This book has a lot of applications - be it regard ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
How many times have you been told that if you just try a little harder? Work a little more? Do something everything will be fine. For Red the Crayon, it’s all he’s ever heard. After all, his label says “red”, therefore it’s his fault he can’t color in red. But what if it’s not? What if someone made a mistake? All it takes in one crayon asking him to color in blue for the truth to be revealed. Just one crayon is needed to really look at him and realize what the problem. Sometimes that’s all we ne ...more
Adrienne Pettinelli
So this book had me from the moment I realized it is narrated by a pencil, but I like the book's overall approach of talking to preschoolers about the futility of trying to make someone be what they are not. The worn-down grey and silver grandparent crayons crack me up. The spread with all the child-crayons' self-portraits is my favorite--Hall captures kid art there. ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A positive message about learning to accept who you are instead of trying to be something you're not because everyone else tells you too. The illustrations are a little simplistic, and the dialogue might be confusing for little kids since there's no dialogue tags indicating who says what (the dialogue is just above the speaker). But over than that, I thought it was pretty cute. ...more
Areeba books and kids
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-releases-17, kids
this was such a cute book. my kids kept saying but he's blue (spoiler,lol). there is so much to learn from this simple book. its gonna go down as one of the finest picture books for kids. ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well, this is freaking adorable.
Dave Schaafsma
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
The whole family will read all these Goodreads Children's Illustrated book nominees for 2015 and rate all of them.

This is colorful, like The Day the Crayons Quit, or Eric Carle's colorful and simple stuff, with pretty simple art and a relatively simple and kinda preachy point to it all (if you are labelled red, you may in fact really be--born this way--blue), but it was fun and I thought cleverly written, and as to the didacticism, well. . .he calls it, cleverly, in the way of serious glbt memo
Katt Hansen
Again, a book that my review has been eaten by Goodreads. What gives, Goodreads?

This book was amazing. It says so much about labels and the boxes we put our kids in. Saw so many applications (while the majority run to transgender, but there's a broader spectrum (see what I did there?) than that).

I had a much longer review with more thought put into it. Muzzy headed with a cold as I am right now, this will have to suffice. Perhaps I can revisit this book someday and write something a bit more th
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: color and identity requests
Recommended to June by: Lizzie
A blue crayon, mislabeled red, has problems until he meets a new friend, who realizes what he can do.

Something new for my colors story time. 6/11/15

Might have been a bit much for my young story time crowd or maybe do it as the first book instead of as the third.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, 2016
This was such a touching story. It's about finding support from other's who give you the strength to be your true self and stop conforming to societal norms. Books that have deeper meanings like this will always be my favorite children's books. ...more
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, own
Cute book about being yourself, told as the story of a blue crayon that was mistakenly labeled red. I love the comments the other crayons make admiring his work, parodying the things that gallery-goers say about artists.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Me: Is this about gay pride or being an artist?
Andrea: It's about not labeling people.
Patrick Matthew
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The argument of labeling students is a long and tumultuous one that can basically be boiled down to "it's not the best thing to do, but the best we can do". As someone who has worked primarily in Special Education classrooms, all of my students come with labels, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, behavioral issues etc. But as educators, should we teach to the labels attached to these students? Or instead try to give them the best education possible regardless of whatever they may be c ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone Looking for Children's Stories About Individuals Who Don't Fit a Particular Role
Although he worked hard and tried the best he could, Red just wasn't very successful as a crayon. He couldn't seem to live up to his label, always producing blue instead of red. Everyone had an opinion as to where the trouble lay, and what to do to fix it, but nothing seemed to help. The one day Berry came along and asked him to create a blue ocean. Finally, our crayon hero found something he could do, leading him to a better understanding of who he really was...

The third title I have read recen
Nhi Nguyễn
A great book about accepting who you are and other people for who they are, told simply from the story of a blue crayon being mislabeled as a red one. Perfect for those who would like to teach kids about transgender people and inclusivity. Beautiful illustrations, as always expected from picture books like this.
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Maybe what the label says about Red, maybe it's not what Red is.
Everyone tries to get Red to do what the label says, always with outcomes that don't meet their expectations, until one day he meets a new friend who asks Red to help, and Red did.
Chloe Turner
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I really loved this story. The crayon has a red label but is a blue one. He can't draw in red when he is asked to draw strawberries etc. Everyone tries to help, one crayon realises the crayon is blue and red carries on drawing blue things. I liked the different fonts, layouts and illustrations. ...more
Maxwell Rae
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Geez these crayons get around
Jennifer McCallum
I think this is a brilliant book! However it is a bit long, I think it could have done without a couple of pages.
Despite this, I think this book should be read by adults and children. It shows how different everyone is and that just because someone looks a certain way, does not mean they should have certain expectations surrounding them.
Could be used throughout school for multiple different concepts.
“Frankly I don’t think he’s very bright”
“Don’t be silly. It says red on the label”
Things man
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Michael Hall is the author/illustrator of The New York Times bestseller, My Heart Is Like a Zoo, as well as the critically acclaimed Perfect Square, It’s an Orange Aardvark, Red: A Crayon’s Story, and Frankencrayon.

Before becoming a children’s author, Michael was an award-winning graphic designer whose work — i

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