A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

English / USA

Red. A crayon’s story

Hall, Michael (text/illus.)
New York: HarperCollins, 2015. – [40] p.
(Greenwillow books)
ISBN 978-0-06-225207-4

Expectation – Disappointment – Search for identity – Picture book

At first glance, this endearing picture book might look like just another tale about colours. Yet it is much more than that: An unhappy young crayon, wrapped in a bright red paper label, does his utmost to fulfil other crayons’ expectations of him. However, despite the well-meaning advice dealt out by his teacher, his parents, and everybody else, he fails miserably every time he tries to draw a red object. Only when a new friend ignores the label and suggests he attempt something different, does mislabeled little “red” find his true “blue” identity. Popular illustrator Michael Hall takes the age-old problem of not fitting in and being misunderstood and transports it to a metaphorical level that even very young children won’t have any trouble figuring out by themselves. Without being preachy at all, the straightforward text and the clear digital collages offer children and adults alike a witty, entertaining story with lots of incentives for further discussion. (Age: 4+)