April 27, 2015

Red, a Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:27 am by suebe2

RedRed, a Crayon’s Story
by Michael Hall
Greenwillow

He was Red but he wasn’t very good at it.  When he drew a fire enging, it was an enormous blue truck.  Strawberries?  They were the right shape, more or less, but they too were blue.

All of the other crayons had theories about what was wrong.  His teacher thought he needed more practice.  His mother thought he needed to mix with other colors.  Some thought he was lazy; he needed to press harder.  If only he would apply himself!  With a little time, surely all would be right. My favorite crayon comment?  “He came that way from the factory.”

It didn’t matter.  No matter how hard he worked at being red, he failed.

Then one day he met a new friend and everything changed.  I’m not going to describe the individual scenes for you but suffice it to say that his friend looked at him and saw who he was and . . . it was good.

I have to admit — I was tempted to read other reviews before I wrote my own but I didn’t.  I’m curious about how other adults identify the theme of this story.  I’m certain many will call it an LGBT story, but that’s not broad enough.  This is a story about struggling to be who you are even when everyone wants you to be someone else.  This is a story that shows that the majority isn’t always right and that what matters is finding one person who sees you as you truly are.

I love the illustrations for this book.  Each crayon character is cut paper collage with a clearly printed label.  For the art work created by the various characters, Hall made crayon drawings which he digitally combined with the cut paper collage.

This would be an excellent read-aloud book but be careful about telling the children what it’s about.  Why be careful?  Because I’d be more interested in hearing their thoughts on the matter.  But with the nice cozy ending it would also make a good bed time book.

Just be sure to share it with a young reader.

–SueBE

 

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