1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up discussion

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Monthly Book Club > January 2018 - Harold and the Purple Crayon

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message 1: by Manybooks, Active moderator (last edited Jan 01, 2018 02:16AM) (new)

Manybooks | 220 comments Mod
For January, I have decided I might as well create a thread for the picture book that won the fourth place in the recent voting, namely for Crocket Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon, a simply but brilliant in its very simplicity picture book about young Harold and how he uses his purple crayon to both have adventures and draw himself out of precarious situations. If you are considering joining in, happy reading (and again, no demands on my part with regard to spoiler tags, in fact, as usual, the only rule I do have is being respectful towards people's likes and/or dislikes).

And Happy New Year, everyone!!


message 2: by Manybooks, Active moderator (last edited Jan 04, 2018 07:09PM) (new)

Manybooks | 220 comments Mod
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 all purpose crayon are 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 the walls)!


message 3: by Sarah Beth (new)

Sarah Beth (sarah_beth) | 9 comments I too had never read this book as a child. I have heard of it of course. I thought the story was somewhat reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are. Harold sneaking out of bed at night for an adventure in his imagination. The illustrations of the simple purple lines lets the reader imagine the scene with just a hint of what Harold is drawing. It is a very creative approach to story-telling and it certainly has a place in this list.


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