I’m a huge fan of the incredible illustrator Oliver Jeffers and so are the boys. and that made our latest library discovery super fantastic.
we discovered the book “The Day The Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt with Mr. Jeffers as illustrator. it’s so funny and so adored in our house (and sadly returned to its library home now). the story line is that the crayons all decide to quit one day and they write letters to their owner explaining why. each page is a letter from a single crayon and most of them are exasperated. for example, blue crayon writes he is pleased with his work but a bit overused and now stubby and short. yellow and orange crayon fight over who is the real color of the sun. at the end of the book the crayon owner uses all of the crayons in an unconventional way, it makes the crayons happy and he is rewarded for his creativity. it’s hilarious, inspiring and sweet. the whole thing is appealing to adults but still accessible to kids. (it makes me so sad when picture books seem aimed at making grown-ups laugh. my kids already feel left out of so much humor, they don’t need books to do that.)
C, who is dead set on being an author-illustrator when he grows up, loved the book and took it upon himself to make his own. this was completely led by him, I had nothing to do with it. I do try to keep lots of bare books around (I love them so much, they are well-made empty books with lots of pages. we discovered them through the amazing soulemama). C pulled one out of the dining room art cabinet and started getting to work.
his copy is on the right up above and is called, “The Day the Markers Quit” (just in case you needed a translation. *wink*.)
here is a page from his book. it reads, “Green Marker. I hate getting chased by my drawings. I mean, give me a break.”
the picture is of an alligator eating the marker. so fantastic, isn’t it! his funniest page is red marker: “Red Marker. Why did you take off my cap? I lost my head.”
oh my goodness, I love this kid! his sense of humor and his willingness to explore a little creative seed. I love the way that kids aren’t afraid to imitate other artists and are also free to take it in a new direction. I love seeing creativity come to life like this!
it was so simple and such a great idea and I thought it would make a good gift to give someone, not his book itself but a copy of this book and a few bare books. or, maybe, hmm, maybe it needs to be the next summer series.
I suppose it’s C’s first contribution to projects on my blog! that is certainly something to make a mama’s heart swell. I think the best projects come when he makes them up. I know this was completely his project but I can’t help but feel proud that he had the tools available to make it happen. the boys both started school yesterday and are so excited to be back but I know we are heading into the world of homework (yes, in 1st grade!) and learning to sit still and pay attention and follow the rules. all those things that aren’t always conducive to the inevitable motion and activity and disorder that encourage creativity. so I’m keeping my eye on my kids and hoping to follow their lead in creative projects at home!
along those lines, I’m awfully glad I’m equipped with backyard ART camp when they need a nudge from me. speaking of backyard ART camp…we have a book winner!
congratulations to Jessica Herir of Sugar and the Spice ( a lovely food and family blog) who wrote: “These are such fantastic ideas! I just had to share the link on my page too. Thanks for the great inspiration… we can’t wait to get out our art supplies!
enjoy the book Jessica!
Oh my goodness!! We love love love this book too!! We bought it on our trip to the national gallery of art…and funny funny thing…V made her own crayon book too! (not with bare books, although it IS HIGH TIME that we have some of those around our house with our little story tellers and art makers!) Oh, what fun! great job! 🙂
Ha! We are such kindred spirits. That is great. It’s so good, isn’t it? I don’t want to ruin it for anyone but even I giggle at Peach crayon. Ha! Bare books are fantastic. You won’t regret it. We order 20 at Christmas and they have all been used. I love them.
My kids also loved this book, although we have yet a meet an Oliver Jeffers’ book we don’t like. Have you seen the short movie of Lost and Found…. or his video about himself as an author/ illustrator? Check them out if you haven’t: http://vimeo.com/oliverjeffers And this book must be magical because my daughter stole away to her room to make her own version as well.
I cannot wait to check out these videos! Thank you so much for sending them my way! That book is magical! That’s exactly right.