Daywalt and Jeffers’ first collaboration saw the crayons quit, whether due to overuse or underuse, misuse or disagreements with their fellows. This time, the crayons realise that home is where they want to be – or most of them.
Both this and the previous book are works of creative geniuses creating worlds within worlds for our personified crayons. Each crayon has its own traits, and they are determined to assert their individuality, via realistic postcards sent to their owner, Duncan. Brown is upset at being used to colour … you know what; pea green a.k.a Esteban the Magnificent is off to see the world if only Duncan would open the front door; while my 5-year-old very much related to the fate of Big Chunky Toddler Crayon, bitten by Duncan’s younger brother.
My 5-year-old son and I laughed out loud at many of the superbly hand-drawn letters in this book. I did need to explain some of the more subtle ironies, but once he had it, he wanted it read over and over again. As Dan is of the mind set that only new is good, this is a good sign that this book may endure in his esteem for some time!
Our favourite crayon character had to be bright red: this geographically-challenged crayon saw the best collaboration between the written and illustrated aspects of the book. First, he is shown looking impatiently at his watch at the poolside where he was left after a particularly hilarious picture of Duncan’s Dad’s sunburn…8 months ago. Then, he is on a camel in an image of the … Newcastle pyramids? On the way to the North Pole. The next time we check in, he is skiing in the Amazon. Dan knows where the pyramids are, and how warm rainforests are, so he was beside himself as we read these parts.
Duncan is upset to learn of the fate of each of his crayons, so he goes around and gathers them up after reading their notes, only to find they don’t fit in his crayon box any more: so he takes all their fears into account when creating a perfect solution.
After reading this book, your child will never see their crayons the same way ever again. Perhaps they will go on adventures together, and colour bravely into the future.
Reviewed by Sarah Forster
The Day the Crayons Came Home
by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Published by Harper Collins