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Harold and the Purple Crayon
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Harold and the Purple Crayon

(Harold #1)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  115,813 ratings  ·  1,847 reviews
"One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." So begins this gentle story that shows just how far your imagination can take you. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement. But this is no hare-brained, impulsive flight of fantasy. Cherubic, round-hea ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published 1996 by Bloomsbury (first published 1955)
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Enrique Hernandez The book is recommended for ages 3-7 but is good for other kids too.
Roman Stadtler This is a book review and rating site; it's not for downloading or reading books. I think you can do that on, but I don't really know. I go…moreThis is a book review and rating site; it's not for downloading or reading books. I think you can do that on, but I don't really know. I go to bookstores or libraries for all my books.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  115,813 ratings  ·  1,847 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
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 dra
Mar 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
May 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: grown-ups
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'
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 p
Benjamin Winkler
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 Cart ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
بثينة العيسى
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
تقرأ كأنك تحلم.
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
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."
This is so perfect on so many levels. 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 imagina
Jun 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 variou
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 ...more
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
... 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??
May 13, 2009 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mattia Ravasi
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Harold and his purple crayon break diegetic barriers as if it's nobody's business. Postmodern as fuck.
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Such a fun children's book about a child's imagination and what he can do with it, with the right tools.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, fiction, french
J'ai décidé lire des livres enfantines parce que j'ai besoin de pratiquer la langue française. J'ai lu le livre célèbre Le Petit Prince quand j'étais au lycée. Mais maintenant je voudrais lire des autres livres enfantines. Je prévois de lister des mots nouveaux que j'apprends à la fin de cette critique.

J'ai trouvé une copie de livre, Harold et le Crayon Violet, dans le catalogue biblioteque. Je sais, ce livre est originalment traduit de l'américaine, mais je dois commencer quelque part. Pourquo
N.N. Light
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a little girl, this book was a daily bedtime read. I loved how Harold could create new worlds and adventures with his purple crayon. My mum thinks this started my love affair with all things purple. A great read which promotes imagination and creativity for kids. Inspirational for us grown-ups, too.

My Rating: 5+ stars
Scott Rhee
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Crockett Johnson's wonderful little book "Harold and the Purple Crayon" is a classic among children's literature. I have many fond memories of this book (and the other Harold books) about an adorable toddler with an active imagination and a magical crayon that allows him to bring to life anything he draws. I never had a problem with the book as a child, but my cynical (and science fiction/fantasy-addled) adult brain's re-reading uncovers the horrific implications within the story, implications t ...more
Robert Tabb
Aug 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with an Imagination
Shelves: topten
I just love this book (even though my wife insists I never pronounce the word crayon correctly. She says I say "crown"). As an author I try to emulate what Harold does in this book. First, go looking for an adventure. Next, add some obstacles, a little humor, a moose, some pie, and some narrow escapes. Finally, when you're all done, find your way home and get some rest. If I was ever stranded on a desert island, this would be the book I'd want to have with me.
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
In Defense of Purple Prose
by Paul West

Like with reading Finnegans Wake and following Jesus, become as like a little child.....
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-top-100-books
Harold is probably the most influential character in all of literature in our family
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
Love Harold! When I started working at the bookstore they did not even know who Harold was - I fixed that & it became very popular.
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
One of the all-time best books to foster creativity in children. A must for EVERY child's bookshelf.
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone Looking for Children's Stories About Imaginative Play
When Harold decides that he wants to go for a walk in the moonlight, the youngster doesn't allow the lack of either moon or path to stand in his way. Taking his magical purple crayon, he creates them both, drawing the world into existence around him, as he proceeds from adventure to adventure. Falling into the sea, but then drawing himself a sailing boat; plummeting off a one-sided mountain, but creating a hot-air balloon in mid-tumble - Harold has everything he needs in his purple crayon...

McKinlay Dennis
Aug 06, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018
i only read this for a pop sugar challenge. don't judge me.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Hmm. Maybe I'd have liked it better if the crayon were blue.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simple, but super cute and well done!
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This is a classic from 1955, but I'd never read it until now. I got the small board book edition but I think the regular paperback would have been better instead. Despite it being about a young toddler, the concept is fairly advanced and I don't know that really young kids would be able to follow it all that well.

Harold is, as I mentioned, a small toddler - he looks like a baby still, though he can walk - and draw. He has a purple crayon, and he uses it to draw a full-on adventure on his bedroo
Annie ⚜️
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
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 bu ...more
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Our whole family loves Harold. Out of all of his stories, this is one of our favorites, because we just love following him along on his drawing adventure. I idea that you can create worlds just by drawing them both fascinates and horrifies my children. My 3 yr old twins already shout "Harold!" whenever they see me pull out of of his books, and my 5 yr old, often requests these. Bringing back memories from my childhood watching Romper Room, and singing "Well you know my name is Simon...", always ...more
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Were they alive? 8 25 Jun 22, 2012 10:33PM  
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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.]

Other books in the series

Harold (7 books)
  • Harold's Fairy Tale
  • Harold's Trip to the Sky
  • Harold at the North Pole
  • Harold's Circus
  • A Picture for Harold's Room
  • Harold's ABC
“But, luckily, he kept his wits and his purple crayon.” 5 likes
“The sandy beach reminded Harold of picnics. And the thought of picnics made him hungry. So he laid out a nice simple picnic lunch.

There was nothing but pie. But there were all nine kinds of pie that Harold liked best.

When Harold finished his picnic there was quite a lot left. He hated to see so much delicious pie go to waste.

So Harold left a very hungry moose and a deserving porcupine to finish it up.”
More quotes…