Drew Daywalt, The Day the Crayons Quit. Pictures by Oliver Jeffers
Published 2013 by HarperCollins Childrens’ Books
If there is humour completed by creativity, subtle irony and intelligence in a picture book I declare myself completely satisfied. I would have bought The Day the Crayons Quit even if I hadn’t had any children. The main reason is, of course, Oliver Jeffers whose artistic vision fascinates me. Then it is Drew Daywalts’s brilliant writing. The book is his debut and he is very imaginative, brainy and original.
One day, Duncan wanted to use the crayons in class but found a stack of letters with his name on them. All letters turn out to be serious complaints from Duncan’s crayons.
Red is exhausted and needs a rest:
All year long I wear myself out colouring fire engines, apples, strawberries and everything else that’s red. I even work on Holidays! I have to colour all the Santas at Christmas and all the hearts on Valentine’s day!
Purple feels furious when thinking of all the gorgeous colour that goes outside the lines, Beige suffers from being called light brown or dark tan, the Peach Crayon is naked and embarrassed because Duncan peeled off his paper wrapping, yellow and orange fight over the real colour of the sun and Blue is overused:
I have really enjoyed all those oceans, lakes, rivers, raindrops, rain clouds and clear skies. But the bad news is that I am so short and stubby, I can’t even see over the railing in the crayon box anymore!
Oliver Jeffers managed to create perfectly childish drawings and the end of the book captures Duncan’s effort to make all his crayons happy again as he has understood both their individual and collective relevance .