The Day the Crayons Quit

by Drew Daywalt

Hardcover, 2013



Call number



Philomel Books (2013), Edition: 1st, 40 pages


When Duncan arrives at school one morning, he finds a stack of letters, one from each of his crayons, complaining about how he uses them.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Lisa2013
I haven’t been reading many picture books lately, but with large groups of college students above and below me (don’t get me started) while I can’t focus on my current novel, I was able to concentrate on a picture book, and thanks to Goodreads friend Kathryn for encouraging me to read this
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particular book, and due to it being due at the library Monday, I just read it, and I’m glad I did.

It’s a fun book, funny and sweet and perceptive. It’s got terrific art (having the illustrator being the same artist who did the pictures for the book This Moose Belongs to Me was also reason I was interested in this book) and the large picture one page from the end is really wonderful.

1 star off for the page with the “happy farm” and the one with the zoo, but mostly because I don’t like the idea of art being graded with letter grades when the artist is at the crayon stage in the early school years. I’m okay with it in college and high school, especially for art majors where I suppose it’s a necessity.

Despite my few reservations, I do highly recommend the book, either for read aloud (one to one or for groups) and for independent readers too, if their reading skills are sufficiently advanced to be able to read slightly atypically written letters in various colors.

I love the message of the book, even though it is extremely didactic, and the humor and the pictures are wonderful.

So, this weekend I might try to read more of my “extra” books = picture books, art books, etc. I really enjoyed reading this one. It’s a winner.
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LibraryThing member keeneam
This is a wonderful book simply for the story, as each crayon as its own personality and reason for leaving Duncan. But as a teacher, there are many other ways to use this book in the classroom. It can be used to teach perspective, letter writing, and word choice. The students love it and all the
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activities that they can do with this book.
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LibraryThing member melissarochelle
I've read this one twice and shared it with our Youth Librarian. Laugh out loud good, can't wait to share it with the kiddos in my life!
LibraryThing member MzzColby
Duncan loves to draw colorful pictures with his crayons, but one day at school young Duncan finds that his crayons are not so happy with the pictures he is drawing. Through page after page of funny “handwritten” letters, the crayons explain their predicaments and tell Duncan, “We quit!”.
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Graphically simple, each crayon-created letter and accompanying drawing by artist Oliver Jeffers evokes the distinctive style of a second grade artist’s best work. Perfect for a read-aloud for Kindergarten through third grade, Daywalt cleverly gives the differently colored crayons their own personalities and dialects within each letter. This enlightening book also provides the opportunity to talk about stereotypes and being an individual.
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LibraryThing member srlowder1
The Day the Crayons Quit is a wonderful book! As a teacher, there are multiple connections to the classroom that can be made. It can be used to teach color theory, or to teach the importance of the value of every color, or to teach character traits, or even to teach about inanimate objects writing
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letters. There are many more possibilities that this book can be used for; it really just depends on what your purpose is for this book. Not only is the book useful in the classroom, but the letters that are written from the crayons are quite comical. This book brings great joy and laughter on practically every page. As a whole, I highly recommend purchasing this book for the possibilities it provides from the pictures drawn to the text that is written! :)
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LibraryThing member dsbge
This book talks about feelings and that is alright if we try different things. Have the children draw a picture at the end of this story using different colors to make a sun or a flower or a tree.
LibraryThing member amandacb
A lovable, creative story about finding one's creative side again. I enjoyed it more than my 2 1/2 year old did, I think! The epistolary style allows each crayon to have a unique "voice," further underscoring the unique wants and needs of each crayon. Read this, just for fun!
LibraryThing member Brettch
I really enjoyed this book both due to the concept and the beautifully unique artwork. I know that working with young children crayons can take some serious abuse and if they could only talk I am sure they would say some funny things. I know that a child I am working with now hogs every single
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purple crayon in the entire classroom and it is only a matter of time before we will be all out. I would like to see a sequel to this story called "The day the condiments in the lunchroom quit."
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LibraryThing member Victoria_Martin
This story does a nice job of introducing children to different feelings. It also portrays a nice example of finding a creative solution. I enjoyed this book as much as my little girl. The characters were funny and relatable.
LibraryThing member jessotto
I thought this was a fun book to read. The crayons take on their own personalities and bring up issues they have with their owner, Duncan. Purple crayon is upset that he keeps coloring out of the lines, Green crayon is happy that Duncan uses him all the time. Orange and Yellow crayon banter back
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and forth over who is the "real" color of the sun. This book had a personality of it's own and can be easily acted out. The book was engaging and humorous. The only thing I did not like about the book was how closely the font, or handwriting, was together. This made it difficult to read while still showing the children the vibrant illustrations.
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LibraryThing member susan.mccourt
I laughed out loud while reading this book, as soon as the red crayon complained about having to work most holidays. I think that the design of the letters from the crayons will have children working harder to read a fairly large amount of words moreso than they would if those same words were
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simply typed as prose on the page. The illustrations supposedly done by the protagonist, Duncan, were fun, but I most enjoyed those that showed the emotions on the crayons’ faces. There was even some fun, subtle irony at the end, where orange gets to be the sun, but yellow gets to be the entire sky. I loved this book, and found the illustrations and humorous text equally compelling!
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LibraryThing member aelmer
Absolutely wonderful! "The Day the Crayons Quit" is a delightful story of protest about a box of crayons that were tired of being used based only on their color. It was a really great mixed-media illustration book, using photography and crayon art that really depicted the feelings and emotions of
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each of the crayons in the story.

I think this would be a really great story in the classroom -- especially to reiterate that we are not defined by our skin color. This could be a great addition to the Martin Luther King Jr. curriculum, or even just to teach colors and inspire outside of the box thinking.
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LibraryThing member biarias
This story made me laugh out loud. Not only was the topic creative, but so was the portrayal of it. I loved that every page included the letter written by hand, in their color, and sample illustrations. Each letter was unique, something I know I would have a hard time managing. I also liked that
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there was a resolution, however I am sad that the peach crayon’s problems—he was upset because his wrapper had been removed and he felt naked and was afraid to leave the crayon box—were not remedied.
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LibraryThing member Shelby08
Good for learning about stereotyping of different individuals.
LibraryThing member aloupe
This is a book about crayons that have feelings too and one day when Duncan wants to color he finds them gone. They had all quit and left letters explaining why. This was a really creative book about how each color wants to do more than what they are usually used for. The letters that are from each
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color teaches bout perception and other people's feelings but is also really funny.
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LibraryThing member Phil9
I personally loved this boo and found the illustrations hilarious! The main character is a young boy that has come to find his crayons have decided to go on a strike of sorts. He finds a pile of letters written by each color that details their feelings on how they are being treated. Each color
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writes a letter and includes great pictures that the young boy has drawn that will make any reader laugh. The feelings each color express bring a smile to your face because they are so true. Red never gets a break in Feb, Black is only used as outlines, Grey is sick of whales and elephants, peach just wants his clothes/wrapper back and more then just the water and the sky are Blue!!
Love this book!!!
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LibraryThing member ReadingMentors
Duncan clearly needs advice on color choices--and maybe a lesson in mediation for yellow and orange.
LibraryThing member awhite43
I really enjoyed "The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers. I thought the childlike illustrations by Jeffers that accompany each of the crayon's "handwritten" letters really emphasized their humorous comments and complaints. I thought the comments were really witty and funny
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including Green crayon's complaint that he enjoyed working but was fed up listening to Orange and Yellow complain about who was actually the color of the sun, followed cleverly by letters from both providing evidence of why they believe that they are the "official" color of the sun. Jeffers uses mixed media, with photographs of real letters addressed to Duncan accompanied by standard font which then moves to the crayon written letters and pictures. This big idea of this book to be appreciation for diversity and the idea that even crayons don't want to be stereotyped.
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LibraryThing member scote23
Duncan's crayons all have reasons they are unhappy. I thought the reasons were funny and realistic and I did mostly like the ending, if a bit predictable. I may make this my Friday afternoon craft exercise--read the book and challenge the kids to use colors in new and unpredictable ways.
LibraryThing member Jill.Haner
I know this wasn't on your list but it truly should have been. If you email me about it, I will lend it to you to prove it.
This adorable book has fantastic illustrations of crayons (who appear to be drawn in crayon) and why the crayons are quitting. Its an imaginative concept and inspires
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imagination too. Imagine your the black crayon and you are only used for outlines, what's wrong with using a black crayon on a flower every now and again.
It also calls on the child reading it to have compassion for other people. But thinking of crayons as people, a child learns that sometimes people are just what they appear as on the outside. A really great book.
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LibraryThing member KaraHankins
I thought this book was adorable and so much fun to read. There are many reasons why I love this book, one being the detailed illustrations. Not only were the illustrations fun to look at, they are also very informative for students. For instance, the red crayon is typically used to color objects
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such as fire engines, hearts and apples; this is illustrated on the page for readers to see. By seeing this, students can make the connection as to what specific colors typically pertain to particular objects, such as red fire engines. Another aspect I enjoyed was the dialogue and personification given to the characters-or in this case, the crayons. Each crayon wrote Duncan, the main character, a personal letter as to why they were not happy with him. An example of this is when the black crayon states he is upset that he is only used to outline Duncan's drawings. He says, "It's NOT FAIR when you use me to draw a nice beach ball and then fill in the colors of the ball with ALL THE OTHER CRAYONS." Dialogue such as this gives each crayon a human-like personality as well as gives the story a humorous twist. The big idea of the story is to simply teach children their colors and to also make them aware of certain objects that are particular objects. Another big idea is teaching children different point of views and taking into consideration different viewpoints of their own friends and/or family members just as Duncan did with his crayons.
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LibraryThing member laurlou
This is the story of the Duncan’s crayons. They became very unhappy with each other and quit. Duncan tries to keep them happy and ends up with a very unique project.
LibraryThing member ocosta1
In my opinion, this is a good book. The author took emotions readers have felt and assigned them to inanimate objects. For example, Green Crayon is happy because he is being used while Peach Crayon is feeling vulnerable since he is "naked" and Blue Crayon is tired from working so hard. I also liked
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how the book is layed out. Each color has it's own letter that begins with "Dear Duncan," and the picture with it is only in that color. It keeps the story organized and simple.

The main idea for this story is to not take advantage of anything and change things every once in a while.
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LibraryThing member mingra2
This was a very cute story that I enjoyed reading. It was a silly story that came to laugh and I think I enjoyed it so much because it really is true about how you use each color of crayon in the box. I enjoyed the illustrations most about the story because they were done in crayon and each crayon
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was personified and had written the main character a letter about how he was using them. It was a funny read. The big message of this book is to use all the crayons in the box!!
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LibraryThing member kkrat2
Summary: "The Day the Crayons Quit" is the story of Duncan's crayons and the letters they write him . The letters are primarily complaints and suggestions as to how Duncan could better use them in the future.
Review: This is a good story for young readers. It explores color in a funny way and
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encourages creativity. The pictures and text are very cute.
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Nebraska Golden Sower Award (Nominee — 2016)
Texas Bluebonnet Award (Nominee — 2015)
Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Picture Book — 2016)
Commonwealth Club of California Book Awards (Finalist — Juvenile — 2013)
Monarch Award (Nominee — 2015)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Children's Picture — 2015)
Red Clover Book Award (Nominee — 2015)
Buckeye Children's & Teen Book Award (Nominee — Grades K-2 — 2015)
Nutmeg Book Award (Nominee — Elementary — 2015)
Nevada Young Readers' Award (Nominee — 2015)
Grand Canyon Reader Award (Nominee — Picture Books — 2015)
The Children's Book Award (Winner — Overall — 2015)
North Carolina Children's Book Award (Nominee — Picture Book — 2015)
Kids' Book Choice Awards (Finalist — 2014)
Golden Archer Award (Nominee — Primary — 2015)
Black-Eyed Susan Book Award (Nominee — Picture Books — 2015)
WAYRBA: Western Australia Young Readers Book Award (Winner — Picture Books — 2015)
Flicker Tale Award (Nominee — Picture Books — 2015)
Colorado Children's Book Award (Nominee — Picture Book — 2015)
3 Apples Book Award (Winner — Young Readers — 2020)
UKLA Book Award (Shortlist — 2015)
Volunteer State Book Award (Nominee — Primary — 2016)
Hampshire Book Awards (Shortlist — 2014)
Magnolia Book Award (Winner — 2015)
Sakura Medal (Picture Books — 2015)
South Carolina Book Awards (Winner — Picture Book Award — 2016)
Ladybug Picture Book Award (Nominee — 2015)
Show Me Readers Award (Nominee — 2016)
E.B. White Read-Aloud Award (Winner — Picture Book — 2014)
Iowa Goldfinch Award (Nominee — 2016)
Gouden Griffel (Zilveren — 2015)
Children's Favorites Awards (Selection — 2014)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

10.38 x 10.25 inches


0399255370 / 9780399255373

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