Prather’s Pick: The story of the forgotten crayons
September 20, 2016
Previously I reviewed "The Day the Crayons Quit," a most imaginative children's picture book, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. The point of view of this book was unique, indeed, because some unhappy crayons told the story.
This week's column features the sequel to this book — same author and illustrator. Published in 2015, it's "The Day the Crayons Come Home." This time, some former crayons want to be rescued.
It happens like this. One day Duncan and his crayons are coloring. (The reader never gets to see Duncan.) When the mail arrives, there is a stack of postcards addressed to "Duncan, Duncan's Bedroom, Upstairs This Home." They've been sent by former crayons, those crayons that have been replaced by new, neat "smelling" crayons.
These former crayons have either been left behind somewhere or have run away. Now they want to come home to the crayon box — in short, they want Duncan to rescue them.
Browsing through the postcards, the stamps and their postmarks is as much fun as reading the story. For example, the postmark might be " Postage 2015, the Couch" or "Postage 2015, Outside" or "Postage 2015 Inside." The pictures on the cards are creative as well. One is of a Crayon Castle, 1 mile west of Duncan's bedroom, left out of the garage, and Crayon Inn Motel (need to get out of the box?).
Written on each postcard is a crayon's plea (in crayon, of course). For example, Maroon Crayon claims that Duncan left him in the couch two years ago, Duncan's dad sat on him and broke him in half. Paper clip nursed him back to health; she's really holding him together. Maroon Crayon wants Duncan to come get him!
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Neon Red Crayon got left at the Ritz Hotel where the family was vacationing. Duncan dropped this crayon beside the hotel pool and just left him there. The crayon has been waiting 8 months for Duncan to return. He's walking back…
The yellow and orange crayons melted together when they were left in the sun. Another crayon, he thinks he might be tan or perhaps Burnt Sienna, was eaten by a dog and then puked up on the rug. Now this undigested crayon is covered with carpet fuzz.
Still another crayon got stuck to a sock after being left in the dryer (and somehow a pair of boys' underpants is mixed up in this story). There's even a Glow-in-the-Dark crayon and two pages of drawings he made before getting left in the basement. And there's more…
Duncan tries to gather up all of these crayons, but then he finds that they are so damaged that they no longer fit in the crayon box. So he comes up with a clever idea.
According to the credit page, the drawings for the book were "made with crayons, the Postal Service and a cardboard box."
This incredibly clever book is published by Philomel Books (2015) and costs about $18.99 in hardcover. You can also find it with the children's books at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries.