Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Red: A Crayon's Story

Red: A Crayon's Story

4.8 4
by Michael Hall
     
 

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A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis in this picture book by the New York Times–bestselling creator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo and It's an Orange Aardvark! Funny, insightful, and colorful, Red: A Crayon's Story, by Michael Hall, is about being true to your inner self and following your own path

Overview

A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis in this picture book by the New York Times–bestselling creator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo and It's an Orange Aardvark! Funny, insightful, and colorful, Red: A Crayon's Story, by Michael Hall, is about being true to your inner self and following your own path despite obstacles that may come your way. Red will appeal to fans of Lois Ehlert, Eric Carle, and The Day the Crayons Quit, and makes a great gift for readers of any age!

Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let's draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can't be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He's blue! This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/15/2014
Red is a crayon, and children will see his problem right away: his label reads “red,” but he’s blue. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s a poor performer in school, where his drawings are expected to be red. Hall (It’s an Orange Aardvark!) has a fine ear for dialogue, and the overly cheerful encouragement Red endures will sound familiar to any child who’s struggled to perform: “I’ll draw a red strawberry, then you draw a red strawberry,” coaches the scarlet crayon. “You can do this. Really!” But a page turn reveals two rows of strawberries, one scarlet and the other... blue. A Greek chorus of grown-up crayons lined up across a black spread makes patronizing comments: “He’s got to press harder.” “Really apply himself!” Only when Red is at his wit’s end does he meet Berry, a crayon who actually sees him. “Will you make a blue ocean for my boat?” Berry asks quietly, and that’s all it takes to change Red’s life. Stories about accepting differences abound, but this one delivers its message in an unexpectedly affecting way. Ages 4–8. Agent: Anna Olswanger, Olswanger Literary. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
02/01/2015
PreS-K—Step inside the life of a crayon in this funny and poignant picture book. The star of the show is Red, a blue crayon who mistakenly has a red label. His teacher tries to convince him to draw strawberries, but they show up blue. He tries on a red scarf, but it just does not match. His mother suggests he mixes with other colors, but the results are not what he expects. No matter how hard Red tries, his efforts just keep coming out blue. His other crayon friends try to help him reinvent himself, but no matter what they do, Red is still a blue crayon. After much self-doubt and denial, Red makes a new friend, a Berry-colored crayon, who asks him to complete his drawing by adding a blue ocean for his boat. Red gives it a go, and suddenly, he finds his true self and discovers what his other art-supply friends knew all along. The rest of his crayon friends are impressed with his new style, and Red comes to embrace his true identity. Hall's latest picture book is all about staying true to oneself, no matter what others say. The illustrations emulate children's artwork, giving readers a great opportunity to identify colors and new vocabulary. Large, clear text make this perfect for a read-aloud, as well as independent reading. VERDICT Reminiscent of Drew Daywalt's The Day the Crayons Quit (Philomel, 2013), this witty and heartwarming book is sure to become a favorite for children and adults alike.—Natalie Braham, Denver Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
2014-11-11
When a red-labeled crayon discovers he's actually blue, he finds joy, ebullience and acceptance.Red tries to be a quintessential red crayon, coloring fire trucks, strawberries, hearts and cherries, but no matter the object, they all turn blue. Fellow crayons begin to gossip. Some say he needs to press harder or grow out of it; others say he's lazy or unintelligent. The other art supplies offer a makeover, taping and snipping away. But all fail to look beyond Red's wrapper to what's inside. Until Berry asks him to draw something blue. When Red succeeds, he feels free! He feels himself, and drawing becomes a delight. The personified crayons change their tune, claiming to have always known his true color. Digital illustrations, done in a graphic, cut-paper style in a primary palette, pop on their white or black backgrounds. And while the crayons themselves are not expressive, Hall's compositions, manipulation of text, and simulated graphite and crayon markings convey a strong sense of emotion. Finding strength in his difference, Red captures that feeling of ease, self-acceptance and freedom in an exuberant, far-reaching sky. Smartly designed and appealing, Red's story offers much for discussion and affirmation. (Picture book. 4-8)
Horn Book Magazine
“Crayon Red may be labeled red, but he colors blue. . . . Once he lets go of his label and proclaims, “I’m blue!” everything turns around . . . Smart design, bold colors, and sharp details keep the story both effective and amusing.”
Shelf Awareness
“[A] smart, insightful coming-of-age story for [the] youngest readers.”
USA Today
“This story of mistaken identity has a simple yet profound premise that makes it feel fresh.”
Huffington Post
“Funny and clever, with a wonderful message about embracing who we are.”
Booklist (starred review)
“[A] fresh approach to colors and feelings. . . . Readers will share all the emotional elements of the tale—humor, despair, sadness, frustration, and finally, excitement.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062252074
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/03/2015
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
1,234
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 11.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Hall grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where autumn was memorable for football, floats, caramel apples, and spectacular colors. He is the creator of several acclaimed picture books for children, including  Frankencrayon, Red: A Crayon’s Story, My Heart Is Like a Zoo, Perfect Square, and It’s an Orange Aardvark! Michael Hall now lives with his family in Minneapolis, Minnesota—another city that shimmers in the fall.

Michael Hall grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where autumn was memorable for football, floats, caramel apples, and spectacular colors. He is the creator of several acclaimed picture books for children, including  Frankencrayon, Red: A Crayon’s Story, My Heart Is Like a Zoo, Perfect Square, and It’s an Orange Aardvark! Michael Hall now lives with his family in Minneapolis, Minnesota—another city that shimmers in the fall.

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