The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Dewalt, pictures by Oliver Jeffers.
My Blue is Happy by Jessica Young, illustrated by Catia Chen.
Both of these terrific books from 2013 spotlight color as subject.
The Day the Crayons Quit is a series of letters to a boy named Duncan. From the crayons in his crayon box.
These colors have feelings. Each has something to complain about. Or lobby for. Or be heard regarding. Even on a fellow crayon’s behalf.
The letters are hilarious. As are the accompanying illustrations by Mr. Jeffers.
Funny enough, three of my very favorite spreads are the less colorful colors in the crayon box. Not sure what that says about me, but I think it’s that the illustrations are that much more creative because the colors aren’t automatically stars.
That swayed beige conveys so much.
The genius use of negative space for white.
There’s just something so great about a beach scene starring the very opposite of what you’d imagine. It’s so very French. And an all black rainbow!
Green has only good things to say about its life as a green crayon. Instead, there’s an issue with friends yellow and orange that must be addressed.
My Blue is Happy takes a look at the associations we have with color. The feelings they give us.
One person’s sad is another person’s happy.
“My sister says that blue is sad like a lonely song. But my blue is happy like my favorite jeans and a splash in the pool on a hot day.”
Orange can be fun like basketball or serious like a tiger.
Brown: ordinary or special as chocolate syrup.
Green: young like new growth, or old as a forest.
It all depends on who’s doing the looking. I like the way this explores comparisons in a natural way and begs the question, “What do you associate with the color ___________?”
Both books could be of great use in an art context, to discuss color theory, or just to enjoy.
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Okay, so here’s some fun with COLOR (wheels):
Origami color wheel box by Boston Origami.
Ummmm, gummy bear color wheel!
Color wheel a la LEGO!
Cocktail umbrella color wheel from Bright Lights Little City.
Diem Chau‘s amazing carved crayons.
Animal crayons, anyone?
Finally, there are fun color exercises and optical illusions like this one from We All Sew.The middle squares are all the same color. But see how different they look depending on the background?
Swooning over the marvelous gallery of color wheels!
Love your color pb pair – ideal. Perhaps HENRI’S SCISSORS and A SPLASH OF RED as great NF PB color duo?
Thanks, Cathy! And yes, genius non-fiction colorful pairing you’ve got there!!
We had The Day the Crayons Quit for Christmas – it’s a great book. I often use Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh when I am teaching colour and colour mixing.
I didn’t know that one—looks great! Reminds me a little bit of BLUE CHICKEN by Deborah Freedman.
I like both of those books and just about any book that focuses on colors. I’m a color junkie and can’t get enough of it, I guess. I love the color wheels and the carved crayons are awesome!
Hi Lauri! The gummy bear one is my favorite. And how practical! 🙂
I am SOOO glad someone tweeted about this blog! It perfect for me. All the things I love (art, writing, color, humor, pure awesomeness) in one entry! I am now following you on Twitter, Pinterest, and Bloglovin. Can’t wait to see more!
Mother Streusel’s Useless Rhymes
Karyn, so kind of you! I’m super genuinely glad you found me!