Written and illustrated by American cartoonist and children’s author, David Johnson Leisk, whose pen name was Crockett Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon is the first in a series, published in 1955.

Color mark from Crayola "Violet (purple)&...

Color mark from Crayola “Violet (purple)” crayon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The illustrations are simple, clear and compelling.

But, what is most appealing about this simple story is that the little boy at its heart, Harold, is in charge of his world.

When he wants to go for a walk, he draws a road with his purple crayon.

When he wants moonlight to see by, he draws a moon.

When he wants a forest, he draws a tree, which then becomes an apple tree.

And, the tree needs someone to guard the apples when he’s not there, so he draws a dragon, which scares him.

When he finds himself in the ocean, he draws himself a boat.

Eventually, after many adventures, he draws the bedroom window he normally sees the moon through, and, he is home, and off to sleep.

Wouldn’t you want your grandchildren to be in control of their lives, with a magic crayon?

It was named by the National Education Association as one of the “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.

It was named among the “Top 100 Picture Books” of all time by School Library Journal in 2012.

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Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers



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