Friday, March 14, 2008

The Adventures of Harold

As a children's minister I get to read a lot of children's books. And I love them. One of my favorites is Harold and the Purple Crayon.  This book was written in 1955 and is still in print. There are many of the series of the Harold books still available. So what does it take to make an enduring, readable children's book? Originality? Creativity? Well it is definitely both of these.
I love that the author, Crockett Johnson created this character who is relevant to any age or decade. So why do I like this book? Harold is wonderfully creative. He creates a world just for himself using his big purple crayon. There are no obstacles too big for him to overcome through is creativity and the help of his purple crayon. I love this little guys' genius.  
So if you want to kill a few moments and be inspired to dust off your creativity and ability to think outside the box of your circumstances, go look up this little book. If you have children in your life this would be a great read for them as well. 
Like Harold, did you like crayons as a child? I loved crayons and  coloring. My brother says I just liked eating the crayons. I think he's delusional. Anyway, I loved coloring. And my favorite thing was a new box of crayons. Didn't you love their smell? Anyway, to give tribute to Harold's crayon here is some trivia about Crayola Crayons: the Crayon had its debut from Smith and Binney in 1903 
and there were originally 8 colors which were: black, brown orange, red, violet, blue, green, yellow. WHAT??? NO PURPLE?? 
Okay, so here is an interesting tidbit: the crayon Harold had was possibly a Crayola Violet crayon and not a purple one!!!  WHAT??  Well, okay actually, when you look up the history of the violet crayon it is listed as violet and beside it the word purple is listed in quotes. I think Harold and the violet crayon sounds a bit weak, don't you? Personally I think Crockett Johnson got it right. 

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