Crayon Road is a very simple picture book in which children explore lines. Five crayons, red, green, yellow, orange, and blue, draw various lines and ask the reader, “What will go on this road?” When the crayons make a straight road, cars and trucks go on it. When they make a hilly road, bikes go on it. When they make a wavy line, a ship goes on it. When they make a long long track, a train goes on it. When they make a road with a bend, the crayons go on it to your house.
What a great way to introduce the importance of line in art to the very youngest child. Some children are loath to draw because what they imagine is not what they are physically capable of creating. A fun and encouraging follow-up to this book would be a duel art activity. The child can draw any kind of line he or she likes, and the adult could add something that would go on that road. The adult could expand to nonroad lines such as castle tops.
Or, try the reverse. Cut out numerous vehicles from magazines ahead of time. The adult draws a road and the child picks a picture to glue on that road.
Young children will enjoy the short, simple format of this book. The pattern is predictable and will encourage child participation. While it may seem overly short so an adult, I feel this is the perfect length for a two-year-old learning the concept of representational art.
The illustrations are bright, a combination of pen and ink, collage, crayon, and possibly computer-generated images of crayons. The pictures have a three-dimensional feeling.
As a follow-up, it’s never too early to introduce experimental art techniques such as dribble painting and gluing long thin strips of paper cut into different line shapes. Of course, don’t forget to use those beautiful, fat crayons as well.