Book Review - The Day the Crayons Quit. 


The Day the Crayons Quit. 

By Drew Daywatt and pictures by Oliver Jeffers.

Duncan’s crayons are in revolt they have had enough!

The author of this funny, clever and thought-provoking book uses letters written by the disgruntled crayons to Duncan. In their individual voices, the crayons begin to express how they feel and in reading this book the reader might just resonate with one or two of them. Although this book is pitched at 3-5yr olds the depth of feeling, the honesty, wisdom and playfulness touches the very core of our being in all the busyness and complexities of life and the relationships we engage in.

Red crayon is overworked, feeling worn out even during the holidays such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day it’s busy, busy, busy!

On the other hand, Purple feels like Duncan’s favourite colour for colouring grapes, wizard’s hats and dragons. However, purple struggles when this gorgeous colour purple goes outside the lines, the need to be perfect and neat are taking Purple to the edge and beyond literally!!

Green, confident Green has always been a happy crayon, Green’s Colouring Green career so far is very successful, the only problem is Yellow and Orange and their constant bickering about who is the colour of the Sun is wearing Green out. Now that they are not speaking Green is distressed and doesn’t want to have to take sides.

White crayon feels invisible, empty inside questioning if there is a place for White in the crayon box. ‘Only used to fill in the empty spaces between other things’ White is sad and the desire to be seen, valued and be more than just filling the space between other things is heart-breaking.

Now who hasn’t young or old felt the need to peel the wrapper from a crayon or two?

Peach in this intuitive, knowing book taps into often unspoken feelings, feelings of being vulnerable, exposed and embarrassed therefore hiding in the box not daring to be seen. 

Having used this book therapeutically with children I have been amazed at the connection made as they identify with a particular crayon’s feelings, enabling a discussion and exploration in a safe and gentle way. This book has also helped me as an adult to playfully explore my feelings and my patterns of thinking. My personal reflection in my work and personal life has been enriched by this simple, imaginative and funny book, I have been challenged to come face to face with some of the crayon’s honesty in expressing their feelings and to have an awareness of the fragility of others around me and to maybe think outside the crayon box from time to time!

Maybe it’s ok if the sea is pink once in a while.

Maybe it’s ok to feel vulnerable and ask for the gentle wrapping of hug.

Maybe it’s ok to be in the middle of something and not take sides but rather hold both sides with care and understanding.

And just maybe Purple can step over the line once in a while and find its ok!

This book is an absolute joy whether you are 3 or 103.

 Explore being you and give yourself a Gold Star for creativity!


-Tricia McGinley, Counsellor at The Road Centre