SpReAd the Love Book Challenge: The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers


The Day the Crayons Quit, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Image from oliverjeffers.com

For the SpReAd the Love Book Challenge, I chose to review and donate one of my kids’ favorite books, and one that Hubby and I enjoyed for its creative perspective- how do the crayons REALLY feel?

The book begins when young Duncan, intending to do his daily coloring, goes to get his crayons, and instead finds a stack of letters addressed to him, written by the crayons themselves. It seems the crayons have grievances, and have decided to air them before any coloring can proceed.

Each page then goes on to show one of the letters, written in the crayon’s own color, and an image on the opposite page depicting the situation faced by the crayon. My young love got a real kick out of this book, and said that it’s funny because even though crayons can’t talk, they can write! This is actually a valuable lesson in itself, and one we began to see not long after the young love began learning to write, and having grievances of his own. I’ll never forget the time he got mad at Mom, and sat down and wrote a letter to his Daddy, basically to tattle on his Grandma Dee. (He’d torn up his little sister’s drawing, and Grandma Dee had in turn torn up one of his drawings, to show him how that made his sister feel… infuriated, he sat down with a new sheet of paper and detailed Grandma Dee’s crime, modeling his letter after the crayon’s letters, and it was one of the cutest things I ever saw.)

Red Crayon is feeling overworked, and points out to Duncan that it even has to work on holidays, coloring red Santas on Christmas, and red hearts on Valentine’s Day. Purple Crayon has OCD, and warns Duncan to start coloring inside the lines, or else! Beige Crayon is proud to be beige, but feels under-utilized and is tired of being called “light brown”… you get the idea. Why is Grey Crayon so fatigued? Why is White Crayon feeling “empty” and Black Crayon sick to death of only outlining for all the other colors? Why are Yellow Crayon and Orange Crayon no longer speaking to each other? And how will Duncan manage to solve the problem and convince his crayons to come back to work?

peach1I think my favorites are the crayons whose grievances are so true to real life… I don’t know why, but I’ve seen my share of Peach Crayons who’ve lost their wrappers… why?? Are peach wrappers just always a little looser than average? Peach Crayon is feeling naked, and too embarrassed to leave the box! And the continually used Blue Crayon in our own box of crayons is, indeed, more stubby than all the rest. =)

This is a cute book, and it had our kids giggling and eager to color. I’ve ordered a copy from Amazon and had it shipped to the Children’s Hospital.


  1. jazzbaby1 · March 5, 2015

    Thanks so much for this, jholland!


    • jholland · March 5, 2015

      And thank you guys so much for spearheading the project… I need to donate more books, more often. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Three more spReAd the love challenge posts! | Me + Richard Armitage
  3. Servetus · March 5, 2015

    I love the idea behind this story. Burnt Siena, that’s the one that probably has a complex over having been neglected. And the worn out ones that get used to make candles — they have real complaints …


    • jholland · March 6, 2015

      Oh, yes. I know *I* never gave Burnt Siena its due, back in my crayon days. Lol

      Liked by 1 person

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