- Craig Graziano
The Day the Crayons Quit is a most imaginative book in terms of its story and its artwork. One day while looking in his crayon box, Duncan finds a stack of scrawled messages instead of crayons.
One by one we read each color's reason for going on strike, written in its color. Red feels totally overworked. Purple is tired of contributing to messy pictures. Yellow and Orange cannot agree on who deserves to be the color of the sun. This is a young artist's worst nightmare.
We also get to see pictures colored by them further explaining their decision to vamoose. Oliver Jeffers' gleeful illustrations depict a forlorn Beige, upset that he only gets to draw wheat.
We see Black begging to be able to draw something fun for once, like a beach ball, instead of always being used to outline other objects. Pink protests unfair gender stereotypes and suggests that Duncan try a drawing a pink dinosaur or cowboy. "Goodness knows they could use a splash of color."
Duncan is a good kid, and he tries to meet every color's demand. I really loved author Drew Daywalt's concept so much, I felt myself highly anticipating each page turn to see just what every color wanted.
For budding artists reading this, I would recommend the stunning Art & Max, by David Wiesner. If you liked how these crayons stood up for themselves, I think Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type with its feisty bovines makes a good companion.
Ultimately The Day the Crayons Quit offers an orginal idea for a picture book and then executes it with verve and wit. Don't let what happened to Duncan happen to you. Check it out today!