Great Illustrated Books

Harold and the Purple Crayon

By Crockett Johnson

HarperCollins, 1981
Pages : 64
Suggested Ages: 4-8
ISBN: 9780060229351

Harold decided to take a walk in the moonlight. So he drew a moon, and then a path to follow it. He decided to take a short cut, and veered off the path that he originally drew to keep him from getting lost. "The short cut led right to where Harold thought a forest should be." So Harold drew a forest-with only one tree, so not to get lost in there, too. Harold draws a dragon to protect the tree's apples, but his own dragon scares him away, his trembling crayon drawing him a lake to fall into. His walk in the moonlight is getting dangerous!

As Harold draws more and more, he becomes more and more sleepy. But Harold can't find the window leading him back to his bedroom. He draws window after window, building a whole city in his wake, and is now even more lost. Will Harold become lost forever in his own imagination?

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If you love this book, then try:

Freeman, Don. Corduroy. Viking, c1968.

Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. HarperCollins, c1963.

Silverstein, Shel. The Giving Tree. HarperCollins, c1964.

Viorst, Judith. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Aladdin, c1972.

Critics have said

Do we look at art to learn things, or to feel things? I'd vote for feeling, and that's why the art book I most recommend is Harold and the Purple Crayon...
The New York Times Book Review