Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.

Click here to buy Harold and the Purple Crayon

I could not start the month without reviewing that wonderful classic, Harold and the Purple Crayon.

In his onesie, small bald Harold decides to go for a walk in the moonlight. With his purple crayon, he draws the moon, the path, and more. The story is told with a gentle, confident tone as Harold explores his creativity. When he creates a too frightening dragon, his trembles produce waves and so begins a sailing trip.

The second half of the book shows Harold attempting different strategies to find his way home. This would be a perfect chance to discuss with your child what Harold could do with his purple crayon to help himself. In the end Harold remembers his bedroom window is always around the moon. “And then Harold made his bed. He got in it and he drew up the covers.” He is drawing as the text unfolds. I love the clever use of “made” and “drew” in those two sentences.

Harold’s drawings are simple, single color drawings. Sometimes less is more. Explore line with your child. Here is a
A tiny video on line for kindergarten children. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDyksXdhqV4

This would be a great time to explain to your child or student that drawings do not have to be complicated. What is line? http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/education/teachers/lessons-activities/elements-of-art/line.html

Lines don’t even have to be as explicit as Harold’s. Introduce Jackson Pollack’s work. http://bit.ly/28lkTZH

Even the youngest child will enjoy creating pulled string art http://www.kinderart.com/painting/stringart.shtml or marble painting http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/marble-painting-for-kids.html.

Try some more line art suitable for your child’s age and skill level. Keep it fun. https://www.pinterest.com/jan_harres/lines-art-lessons/

You might also want to go in a different direction with the story of Harold and the Purple Crayon. When Harold gets lost, he tries various ways to find his way home. He does not encounter any other people. Discuss with your child the steps he or she should follow upon getting lost. Remember to have confidence in his abilities and not frighten him.

This is such a rich book presented with perfect simplicity, a visual hiaku. Every child should experience it.


Here is a sample of marble art done by my just turned three granddaughter.


 Click here to buy Crayola My First Palm-Grip Crayons


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages


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