The hilarious, colorful #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon that every kid wants! Gift a copy to someone you love today.
Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun.
Winner of over 60 national and international awards, including the coveted E.B. White Read-Aloud Award
Amazon’s 2013 Best Picture Book of the Year
A Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2013
Goodreads’ 2013 Best Picture Book of the Year
One of TIME Magazine’s top 100 Children’s Books of All Time.
* “Hilarious . . . Move over, Click, Clack, Moo; we’ve got a new contender for the most successful picture-book strike.” –BCCB, starred review
“Fresh and funny.” –The Wall Street Journal
“This book will have children asking to have it read again and again.” –Library Media Connection
* “This colorful title should make for an uproarious storytime.” –School Library Journal, starred review
* “These memorable personalities will leave readers glancing apprehensively at their own crayon boxes.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Utterly original.” –San Francisco Chronicle
My Inspiration for the book
In the fall of 2003, I was sitting at my desk in my apartment in Los Angeles, wanting desperately to write my first picture book manuscript. The only obstacle was that I couldn’t think of a thing. I looked around the room for my answer… hoping somehow that it would be written on the wall or the desk or the floor, I suppose. There was my battered old computer, but I didn’t think kids wanted a book about that. There was a stack of bills, but I knew moms and dads wouldn’t sleep well after reading that bedtime story.
But then I saw them, like a beacon on a hill… there, on my desk, sat an ancient box of my old crayons next to the hula girl pen holder my grandpa had left me in his will. I didn’t remember buying the crayons, or even why I had them. I didn’t have kids yet, so they were definitely my crayons. And at the time, I couldn’t for the life of me remember the last time I had colored. Crayons are so ubiquitous, aren’t they? They just show up everywhere, under couch cushions, behind the dresser, in the junk drawer. But here was a box I’d aparently kept with me, moving them with all my office stuff from apartment to apartment. So yeah… there they were. And I just knew they had a story to tell.
I’d been writing dialogue for movies and TV for over ten years at that point and thought, hmm… what if I draw on my strengths? What if I gave each crayon a monologue about how they felt about my coloring habits? I bet they’d give me an earful.
So I poured the crayons out on the table and decided to let them each tell their own tale. The crayons on my desk that night looked exactly like their counterparts in the book eventually would. Peach had it’s wrapper peeled off, blue was stumpy and clearly a favorite, purple was unused and just seemed especially fastidious to me. And that’s how it went all down the line. Each crayon told me their story and I dutifully transcribed their praises, complaints and concerns.
It’s a funny thing. I’m a sentimental type and I kept those crayons, even to this day. And since I wrote the manuscript all those years ago, I’ve continued moving them from apartment to apartment and finally to our current home, where they still keep me company in my studio.