Picture Book Review – The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt (Author) & Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator)
Recommended for Toddlers/Younger Readers
Kate Greenaway Medal Shortlisted Item
I remember reading This is a Book, and thinking just how clever the concept of it was. I have similar feelings about The Day the Crayons Quit. It’s such a simple, clever idea, and delivered absolutely brilliant, that I would be delighted if it won the Kate Greenaway Medal this year.
Its story is a simple one: one day, Duncan takes out his crayons, and finds a set of letters written by each colour addressed to him. Each of them details a complaint about how Duncan misuses them, such as Red Crayon being overused, or Beige Crayon tired of being second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Each complaint is recognisable in reality (I bet your child always chooses brown over beige), and there’s some wonderfully silly ones, particularly the complaint about the paper wrapping being peeled off. All of them are perfectly done, and a joy to read. It’s a shame there aren’t more crayon colours!
The illustrations are typical Oliver Jeffers, which is to say they’re fantastic. He’s got such an easily recognisable style, and it’s one of my favourites. I’m never sure how much the Kate Greenaway Medal is judged solely on the illustrations or whether the script comes into play, but if anyone deserved to win based on drawings alone then it’s Oliver Jeffers. His style just fits so well with the feel of a children’s book, it seems unfair for him not to win year in, year out.
I’m trying to read through all the Kate Greenaway nominees this year, but at the moment I’m not sure how any of them are going to be able to beat The Day the Crayons Quit.