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Harold #1

Harold and the Purple Crayon

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Harold decides to go for a walk one evening and as he goes he fills in the scene using his purple crayon. Adventure goes hand in hand with imagination to create this charming classic story.

64 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1955

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About the author

Crockett Johnson

140 books120 followers
Crockett Johnson was the pen name of the American cartoonist and children's book illustrator David Johnson Leisk. He is best known for the comic strip Barnaby (1942–1952) and the Harold series of books beginning with Harold and the Purple Crayon. [From Wikipedia.]

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,386 reviews
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
403 reviews3,540 followers
February 17, 2023
Free book that makes for good jokes

Harold has a magic purple crayon that can apparently draw anything Harold imagines.

This book was FREE as an Amazon Prime member, and who doesn't love FREE stuff? As far as content thought, this children's story is average. Although I have read this book before, I forgot what was involved because it was so unremarkable. However, this book does lead well into some good jokes for adults: Harold, what can your green crayon do? Harold, can you please draw me a giant pile of money so I can swim through it like Scrooge McDuck? Harold, do you have a sister called Maude?

This is one of the books from James Mustich's 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die A Life-Changing List.

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
January 1, 2022
Harold and the Purple Crayon (Harold #1), Crockett Johnson pseudonym for David Johnson Leisk

Harold and the Purple Crayon is a 1955 children's book by Crockett Johnson. This is Johnson's most popular book. It led to a series of other books, and inspired many adaptations. The protagonist, Harold, is a curious four-year-old boy who, with his purple crayon, has the power to create a world of his own simply by drawing it.

Harold wants to go for a walk in the moonlight, but there is no moon, so he draws one. He has nowhere to walk, so he draws a path. He has many adventures looking for his room, and in the end he draws his own house and bed and goes to sleep.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پانزدهم ماه آگوست سال2012میلادی

عنوان: هارولد و مداد شمعی بنفش کتاب یک؛ نویسنده و تصویرگر: کراکت جانسون؛ مترجم: فاطمه حجوانی؛ تهران، قدیانی، سال1390؛ در64ص، مصور، فروست: مجموعه قصه های هارولدیک1؛ شابک9789645367204؛ موضوع داستانهای خیال انگیز کودکان از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده20م

هارولد، پسر چهار ساله، شب هنگام از خانه بیرون میرود، تا قدم بزند؛ همه جا تاریک است، اما «هارولد» مداد بنفشش را با خودش آورده است؛ او با مداد بنفش، یک ماه در آسمان، و یک راه بر روی زمین، نقاشی میکند؛ «هارولد» پیش از اینکه گام بردارد، باید با مداد بنفش، زمانی را که گامش بر آن فرود میآید، نقاشی کند؛ هنگامی که گرسنه است، با مداد بنفش غذا مهیا میکند؛ اژدهایی نقاشی میکند، اما از اژدها میترسد؛ با مداد بنفش، قایق نقاشی میکند و در آب شناور میشود؛ در تنهایی، نیاز به دوست را احساس میکند...؛ «هارولد»، پسر کنجکاوی ست که با مداد بنفشش، دنیای تازه ای میسازد؛ در دنیایی که ساخته، غول جادوگر را از پای درمیآورد، و باغ را سبز میکند، به آسمان سفر میکند، به قطب شمال میرود، در سیرک ماجرا میآفریند؛ او داخل تابلو میرود، و دو دنیای خیال و واقعیت را نزدیک به هم میبیند؛ شما نیز در این سری هفت جلدی، همین خیال را تجربه میکنید: «به کودک درونتان اجازه دهید خودش باشد تا پرواز کند.»؛

سری «هارولد»، از کلاسیکهای ادبیات کودک در جهان است، و در سال1955میلادی نوشته شده است؛ با اقتباس از همین مجموعه، فیلم، تئاتر، سریال تلویزیونی، انیمیشن و بازی رایانه ای ساخته و پرداخته شده، و در برنامه های درسی آموزش هنر نیز، از آنها سود میبرند؛ کودکان دیروز و امروز و فردا، و آدم بزرگهایی که کودک درونشان هنوز زنده است، دنیای «هارولد» را دوست میدارند، از آن لذت میبرند، شگفت زده میشوند، و خیالشان بال میگشاید

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 16/10/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 10/10/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Calista.
3,884 reviews31.2k followers
September 12, 2019
It’s amazing what one purple line can do for a story. Harold has a purple crayon and he goes on a journey with his imagination. The illustrations are simple and the book is enduring and cute. Everything is black and white ink drawings with that one purple crayon. It’s pretty brilliant what Crockett did here.

The niece didn’t read this and the nephew is in a phase right now. He’s a bit of a handful and he is just out-of-sorts sometimes. He had been throwing tamtrums all evening. I thought he a story might turn the tide and it did not. Anyway, he said this was a stupid story and he hated it. He gave it 1 star and told me not to read this kind of story to him anymore. He was wound up tonight. He didn’t want to go to sleep either. Not every night can be a good one.

I do think he would enjoy this story at another time, so I might try and read it again.
Profile Image for Brad.
Author 2 books1,691 followers
May 16, 2012
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 exhaustion, put in a pseudo-mid-western accent and languidly set off on Harold's journey.

Turns out that languid is a big hit -- at least with Scoutie. Slow and steady and soothing is the voice she likes, and I discovered, much to my surprise, that I liked the story more than I ever had before. I think I'd always been reading it wrong, trying to make it into an adventure, rather than a journey to sleep. Silly me.

I have it now, though, and I'll never read it another way again.

(p.s. Until today I had it ranked at three stars, but I've added another now. Harold deserves it.)
Profile Image for Alex.
1,418 reviews4,382 followers
May 10, 2017
Here is the first betrayal in a long life of betrayals, child. Your parents told you it was a classic, didn't they? Their eyes were probably limpid with nostalgia as they gave it to you. "It's about imagination," they simpered. And you took it in your grubby little hands, and you put it in your grubby little mouth, and you thought, "THIS IS BORING."

"But it's about how creativity can take you anywhere!" they cried. And "yeah," you babbled: "Anywhere purple." Because that's all it is, child, isn't it? It's just purple lines. "No," they protest, "it's pie and dragons!" Scribbly purple pies and dragons, and not the real thing. The real pie is in the refrigerator, the real dragons are in your sofa fort, and this is boring.

You might as well know now, child: your parents are boring. Your teachers are boring. You will be assaulted on all sides by books that grown-ups think are good for you, and they will be boring. By the end of it, the love of reading will be crushed out of your body and you will become a lawyer.

As you grow, you will face more boring books:

Wind in the Willows
Little House in the Big Woods

They are all boring. Did your parents honestly like them? Yes, they did, because they were never children like you. They were born small adults, and they became big adults, and they have always liked boring things. Throw this book behind the changing table where no parent can retrieve it, and read these instead:

Harriet the Spy
Wuthering Heights

And if any grown-up tries to talk to you about Harold and his stupid crayon, bite them.
Profile Image for Tina Loves To Read.
2,460 reviews1 follower
August 11, 2022
This is a children's book, and it is the first book in the Harold series. I have read this book to my twin boys and my daughter a lot. I love this book, and one of my twin boys favorite color is purple. I love that the pictures is simple and super cute. Great book for little kids and toddlers.
Profile Image for Richard.
Author 4 books431 followers
February 10, 2017
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 prohibited because it encourages neglect and shows a lamentable overuse of imagination.

Profile Image for Jon Nakapalau.
4,933 reviews687 followers
November 16, 2021
Another 'mommy book' that I remember from my childhood. I can actually remember setting my purple crayon aside...If it worked for Harold it would work for me! This is a wonderful book that will help nurture the imagination of a small child; one of my favorite books for children. Highest recommendation.
September 28, 2011
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 Carthage), accompanied by a "hungry moose" and a "deserving porcupine", allegories for Dido and her sister Anna. It is no accident that it is Anna who is the "deserving" one - Dido, who spurns Iarbas in favor of trying to divert Aeneas from his divine mission is satirized as thin and rapacious.

Abandoning these at their banquet of overabundance, Harold/Aeneas continues his journey. He tries to climb a mountain to help locate his objective (the land where he is destined to settle), but it is only after a plunge into an abyss that he can gain enlightenment. Here Johnson has replaced the Roman conception of the underworld with a more strikingly literal representation - there "wasn't any other side" of the mountain, merely a void. Finally sensing that he is near to his destination, he passes first by a false house and then an entire false city - obvious metaphors for the false destinations such as Sicily which tempt the Trojan settlers. Harold/Aeneas "asks a policeman" (King Latinus) for directions, but, as Aeneas is guided by divine destiny, Latinus merely directs him "the way he was going anyway". Vergil's theme that a divine origin - and the firm religious foundation built upon this - is the wellspring of Roman glory is well symbolized by the ending; the journey of Harold/Aeneas ends when he embraces "pietas" and the destiny placed upon him by Venus, and builds his "room" around her (thus establishing the Roman race).
Crockett Johnson's masterful interpretation of this theme through spartan monochrome illustrations offers a remarkable counterpoint to Vergil's ornate Latin verse. But the pinnacle of his creation lies in the titular instrument. It is no great exaggeration to say that Vergil's patron, Augustus, was at the time engaged in remaking Rome in his own image. The author's metaphor is dual - Harold is not merely Aeneas, founder of the Romans. He is Augustus, the fulfillment of the Aeneid's central prophecies, redrawing Rome with an imperial purple crayon.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,440 reviews78.1k followers
June 28, 2018
This was my choice for the Popsugar prompt "A book with your favorite color in the title"

Children's book choice 2 out of 3 and I have to say, after all the hype surrounding what a fantastic book this is, I just didn't see it. Sure it's a cute read, but for something so beloved I expected a little... more? Anyway, on to the next one!

P.S. my kids weren't all that interested either so I guess it wasn't just me.
Profile Image for Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl.
1,079 reviews144 followers
December 28, 2020
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."

Harold and the Purple Crayon is perfect on so many levels. It all starts when Harold wants to go for a walk in the moonlight. He can't see any moon so he draws one with his purple crayon. The moon is then a companion for duration of this magical adventure.

The sad thing is I don't remember reading this as a child - I discovered 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 of imagination and simplicity.

I like Harold and the Purple Crayon better than Where the Wild Things Are, which is a book of similar material, although not quite as simplistic.

Favorite Passages:

He didn't want to get lost in the woods. So he made a very small forest, with just one tree in it.

His hand holding the purple crayon shook. Suddenly he realized what was happening. But by then Harold was over his head in an ocean. He came up thinking fast. And in no time he was climbing aboard a trim little boat.

After he had sailed long enough, Harold made land without much trouble.

He hoped he could see his bedroom window from the top of the mountain. But as he looked down over the other side he slipped - And there wasn't any other side of the mountain. He was falling, in thin air. But luckily, he kept his wits and his purple crayon.
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,126 reviews104 followers
May 20, 2023
After finally having had a chance to read Crocket Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon (which I unfortunately never did get a chance to actually and actively encounter during my own childhood, although I had heard of its existence), and what in my humble opinion makes this timeless classic so very much and inherently, lastingly special is that with the simplicity of the accompanying illustrations, the author/illustrator shows children (no, he actually shows EVERYONE) that imagination and even artistic imagination does NOT need to be realism-based, does not need to be three dimensional, and most certainly does not ever really need to be painterly, as Harold's artistic adventures with his ubiquitous purpose crayon are all depicted as simple line drawings, expressive, evocative, adventurous, but in no way overly involved and with too many minute details (stick figure like renderings that most of us, and even those of us with imagination, and appreciation for art but not really all that much if any talent for drawing, painting and the like could more than likely manage easily enough).

And aside from the sweet, engagingly fun act of reading Harold and the Purple Crayon (either as an independent reader or perusing it with a child or a group of children), of showing, of demonstrating how Harold uses his very active imagination, uses his special purple crayon to create his own imaginative world of whimsy, adventure and even delicious treats, one can of course also make use of the very premise of Crocket Johnson's classic to encourage children (either at home or in the classroom) to create their own drawn purple crayon (or whatever coloured crayon) imaginative adventure storyboards, to read and perhaps even to present, to show and tell. Highly recommended and just so much potential fun (as in my opinion Harold and the Purple Crayon simply begs to be imitated, to be used as a blueprint for playtime and whimsical storytelling, but perhaps it might also and equally be worthwhile if not necessary making sure that especially toddlers do not end up initiating Harold too closely by drawing on walls)!
Profile Image for Karina.
823 reviews
November 22, 2019
I liked Harold and his purple crayon. This kid has an imagination! He fought beasts, made a picnic, went out to sea, floated on a balloon, made giant buildings; and all before bedtime. I liked the simplicity of the purple crayon/marker yet what he did with it was anything but simple. Very cool book to read before bedtime.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,249 reviews
June 29, 2009
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 various artistic persuasions--writing, music, dance, etc. all help us create worlds :->
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 90 books232k followers
December 27, 2014
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.
Profile Image for Brittany Lee.
Author 1 book113 followers
May 28, 2021
Happy 66th Anniversary!

An imaginative and artistic treasure, this is.

Perfect for creative thinkers, dreamers, and do-ers.

And my is that purple, catching on the page! The smoothness and thickness of the purple lines are so appealing.

Not only is this nice on the eyes, but it also sends an empowering message; we create our world out of nothing.

Creativity and imagination can make anything happen, just grab your favorite colored marker and find out for yourself!

I borrowed this title from the Amazon Prime Reading Program. I was under no obligation to write a review, my honest opinion is given voluntarily.

I'd love to own a copy of this as well as read all the other adventures "Harold and the Purple Crayon" travels.
Profile Image for Annie ⚜️.
501 reviews16 followers
March 22, 2019
This book is adorable and I love Harold. We picked this up as a board book in the gift shop of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (or whatever it's called) in Massachusetts. I was on one of those benders in the gift shop where I HAD to get something. I just had to! Little man was about a year old, give or take, and this place was lovely. The gift shop made me crazy to shop. So we got this and Ezra Jack Keats' A Snowy Day. Anyhow, I was a bit disappointed that everything was just purple but you know what? My son is now 7 and he loves to draw and guess what? A lot of stuff he draws is like Harold's world and we still read this book.
Profile Image for Mattia Ravasi.
Author 5 books3,511 followers
June 3, 2016
Harold and his purple crayon break diegetic barriers as if it's nobody's business. Postmodern as fuck.
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
423 reviews1,628 followers
September 4, 2018
... what are we missing?

Small-fry was bored and his only thoughts were ”why doesn’t Harold have any other colors?” And ”hey, Kaylin! Purple is YOUR favorite color too!”

I get that is about imagination and silly and all that fun stuff. But it’s also just a kid scribbling things that somehow leads to an adventure??
Profile Image for Lata.
3,609 reviews192 followers
November 23, 2019
A totally fun little story about Harold, who decides to go on a walk, taking his purple crayon with him, drawing himself a great adventure.
I can see where author/illustrator Aaron Becker got his idea for his Journey trilogy.
Profile Image for Azet.
1,014 reviews220 followers
February 9, 2022
I read the swedish translation of "Harold and the Purple Crayon" to my little-brother and we both enjoyed the remarkable adventures of the smart little kid Harold.I am not surprised by how beloved this book is.It has so much innocence,wonder and cuteness to it!!
Profile Image for Bill.
908 reviews161 followers
January 17, 2021
I was given a desk calendar which recommends lots of fine literary books to read. So, what have I chosen to read so far ? This small childrens book!
Harold has a purple crayon, which sets him off on an adventure. That's it really. Short, fun & a delightfully cheeful read.
Profile Image for Suzy Davies.
Author 11 books570 followers
February 4, 2021
I adore this book! The whole concept is so playful and imaginative. The storyline is all about dreams, creativity, play and imaginative exploration. Harold's adventures encourage children to be curious and inventive. Harold's journey - all created with his purple crayon - shows children that we can create our reality. The whimsical purple line drawings are quirky and funny. The tone of the writing is optimistic, and sure to appeal to children, in fact, everyone who wants to get in touch with their inner creative natural child.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
132 reviews11 followers
May 14, 2009
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 Are or C.S. Lewis's The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe), from which Harold can return home to his own sweet room and his own sweet bed. Instead, Harold is forced to recreate his own room and his own bed, drawing them with his purple crayon as he drew everything else on his journey. This calls into doubt the seemingly solid world around me and shakes me to my very core.
Profile Image for Ann-Marie "Cookie M.".
1,111 reviews121 followers
November 21, 2019
This one was in my babysitter's bag o' tricks when I was a teenager, small enough to fit in my purse and fun enough for all the kids in my neighborhood.
Profile Image for Moonkiszt.
2,053 reviews212 followers
March 20, 2020
Short and sweet, with a straight to the heart message: make your own path - you make it happen - you save the day - you find the tools - you build the bridge - you enjoy the apples - you find adventure - you make your home - you make your bed - you earn your rest.

Love it. . . .a lovely way to present these ideas to a new human.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,386 reviews

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