Monday, August 27, 2012

Harold and the Purple Crayon (50th Anniversary) - By Crockett Johnson

Some of the best books for 3 year olds will feature stories about children (just like them) who take on the world with imagination, creativity, and fascination - such is the story of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Written in 1955 by Crockett Johnson, the 50th anniversary edition evokes a feeling of warm nostalgia in the wise hearts of decades-old readers and their descendants.

What is Harold and the Purple Crayon about?

Harold is a little boy with a purple crayon who decides to go on a walk in the moonlight; alas, there is no moon, so Harold sets off across a blank landscape. The first thing he does is draw a line to represent the horizon - then he draws the moon, walking in its purple moonlight as he also draws a tree (which is a forest to Harold, but the one tree is so he won't get lost in the forest).  Then he draws a dragon to guard the fruit of the tree, but the dragon turns out to be rude and fearsome, causing Harold to step back with his hands shaking (drawing squiggly lines all the while). 

Before Harold realizes it, his lines have become waves and he finds himself at the bottom of an ocean; fortunately, he draws a boat to save himself. The story follows Harold the rest of the way home as he searches for his bedroom. He creates a whole city, complete with numerous windows, but none of them are his. After a while of searching, Harold remembers he used to see the moon from his bedroom window; therefore, he draws his bedroom window and becomes the little boy on the inside looking out at the outside.

Harold and the Purple Crayon has evolved into a timeless classic, fit for all ages in all diverse cultural backgrounds - all presented with the same message of hope, artistry, and inspiration. Where Harold finds danger, he perseveres to make those frightful situations a little better. Where he feels lost, he creates what he needs to feel safe again.

Find a whole list of this year's top books for 3 year old children:

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