For this week’s post, I’ll do yet another children’s book. Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson, was a favorite bedtime story of mine as a child. Johnson wrote and illustrated this series of stories about a boy who goes on adventures by creating an imaginary world through the use of a simple purple crayon.
I have a lot of respect for authors who write and illustrate their children’s books. I feel that because the same person creates both the words and pictures, their ideas are better preserved. Sure, some authors aren’t visual artists, but then by using an illustrator for the images, some of their original ideas of how the character should look or what the scene is, can be lost if they don’t communicate well with the illustrator.
In this case, the words and images are rather sparse, but the minimal amount of text helps the reader to focus on the strong, line driven pictures (not to mention the fact that the book is geared towards children learning to read!). Even though Harold and the Purple Crayon was first created in 1955, it has a timeless quality to it because the images are similar to doodles that kids first create when they’re drawing, so by pairing those simple drawings with easy to read words, kids can easily relate to Harold and comprehend the story better.
The fanciful purple lines that make up Harold’s world have stuck with me. So much, in fact, that I plan on dressing up as a purple crayon for Halloween this year! It’s a sweet story that promotes creativity, both visually and verbally, at a level that anyone, young or old, can appreciate.