About the Holiday
Kids love going to restaurants that provide a fun placemat and crayons to color with while they wait. But what happens to those crayons when the meal is over? Most times they’re thrown in the trash with the napkins and straws and other items left behind. Wouldn’t it be great if those gently used crayons could go on to be used by other kids at schools that can’t afford such supplies? They can! Begun by Crayon Collection, National Crayon Collection Month encourages restaurants, hotels, and other organizations that provide free crayons to collect the ones left behind and donate them to under-serviced schools. As school arts programs are threatened with budget cuts, these important supplies can make a big difference in the lives of students. The ability of children to express their creativity is a crucial part of their education and growth. You can get involved too! To learn how you can make an impact, visit CrayonCollection.org. Or look into donating crayons (and other supplies) to a school in your area.
The Day the Crayons Came Home
Written by Drew Daywalt | Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
One day, as Duncan and his crayons were creating something together, Duncan received a mysterious package of postcards. The first postcard Duncan read was from Maroon Crayon, who, it turned out had been marooned in the couch, broken in half when Duncan’s dad sat on him, and then “nursed back to health” by paperclip. Now ready to rejoin the pack, Maroon Crayon was asking to be rescued.
The next postcard brought distressing news from Pea Green Crayon, who feeling unloved, had changed his name to Esteban the Magnificent and was “running away to see the world.” Neon Red Crayon was feeling similarly dismissed and was writing—with a bit of well-earned pique—from the side of the pool at the Ritz Motel. “REMEMBER that great vacation we had with your family? Remember how we laughed when we drew a picture of your dad’s sunburn? Remember dropping me by the hotel pool when you left? Clearly you do NOT, BECAUSE I’M STILL HERE!” Still, Neon Red Crayon was taking it upon herself to walk home.
Yellow and Orange crayons wrote to let Duncan know they’ve put their argument “over which of us was the color of the sun” aside now that the sun has fused them together forever in the backyard. They don’t care what color the sun is anymore—they just want to come home. But perhaps “Tan (or possibly Burnt Sienna?) Crayon” has the saddest tale to tell. He’s had a hard time of it since being eaten by the dog and is now “more carpet fuzz than crayon.”
Up from the basement comes a postcard from Glow in the Dark Crayon, who was abandoned there last Halloween after Duncan used him to draw scary stuff on the wall. He just wants to be brought into the light because he’s “kind of … terribly … horrified ….” Meanwhile, Esteban has reached the front door, seen that the world is rainy, and has decided to return.
A dryer mishap has left Turquoise Crayon with one of Duncan’s socks stuck to his head, one compelling question, and one big desire to be reunited with the other crayons. But it’s not just Duncan’s crayons who are begging to be brought back into the fold. Duncan’s baby brother’s “Chunky Toddler Crayon” wants to be saved from another week like the last one in which the little tyke had “bitten the top of my head, put me in the cat’s nose, drawn on the wall and tried to color GARBAGE with me!”
Brown Crayon admits that he’s embarrassed by what Duncan used him for, but still wants to come back, and Neon Red Crayon has sent postcards from all over the world as she’s made her way back, at last sending a card picturing herself skiing in the Amazon Rain Forest. After reading all of these missives, Duncan felt bad and ran around the house collecting them. But where would he put them? They “were all so damaged and differently shaped than they used to be that they no longer fit in the crayon box.”
But why did the crayons have to fit the box? Duncan had a better idea. He built a box to fit the crayons—“a place where each crayon would always feel at home.”
An instant classic, Drew Daywalt ‘s and Oliver Jeffers’ sequel to the equally loved The Day the Crayons Quit, The Day the Crayons Came Home is a laugh-out-loud look at life as a forgotten crayon. As given voice by Drew Daywalt, these crayons, with personality, attitude, and some legitimate gripes, make hilarious champions for any story time. Daywalt’s selection of colors and mishaps is inspired, and his recurring characters, Esteban and Neon Red Crayon, add just the right touch of silly cluelessness as they wax poetic.
From the first glimpse of Maroon Crayon facing the indignity of being sat upon and emerging from the wreckage with a full beard, tattered paper, and paperclip bandage, kids will be hooked on the lives of these misplaced, misused crayons. Each crayon’s expression reveals the personality and predicament of these little heroes. Vintage postcards and crayon-drawn backdrops add to the distinctive look of this very original story in letters. A page of glow-in-the-dark drawings and text will have kids running for the nearest closet or dark corner to check it out, and the final reveal of the crayons’ new home will inspire readers to create one of their own.
A colorful, creative addition to any home or classroom library, The Day the Crayons Came Home (and its companion The Day the Crayons Quit) will be asked for again and again…and again.
Discover more about Drew Daywalt and his books on his website.
To learn more about Oliver Jeffers, his books, and his art, visit his website.
National Crayon Collection Month Activity
Crayon Rainbow Art
With this cool project you can create an art piece that’s as colorful as a rainbow and as unique as you are! Adult help is needed for children.
- Box of 24 crayons
- White foam board or thick poster board, 8 inches by 17 inches
- A small piece of corrugated cardboard, about 5 inches by 5 inches (a piece of the foam board can also be used for this step)
- A small piece of poster board, about 5 inches by 5 inches
- X-acto knife (optional)
- Hot glue gun
- Hair dryer
- Old sheets or towels, newspapers, a large box, or a trifold display board
- Remove the various red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, and violet hued crayons from the box of crayons
- Strip the paper from the crayons by slicing the paper with the x-acto knife, or removing it by hand
- Line them up in order at the top of the white foam board
- Glue the crayons with their tips facing down to the board with the hot glue gun
- Cut an umbrella or other shape of your choice from the poster board
- Trace the umbrella or other shape onto the corrugated cardboard or a piece of the foam board and cut out
- Glue the poster board shape onto the corrugated cardboard, let dry
- Glue the umbrella or other shape to the foam board, about 4 ½ inches below the crayons
- Set up a space to melt the crayons. The wax will fly, so protect the floor and walls by placing the art piece in a large box or hanging newspapers, old sheets or towels on the walls and placing newspapers on the floor. A trifold display board and newspapers works well.
- Stand the art piece upright with the crayons at the top
- With the hot setting of the hair dryer, blow air at the crayons until they start to melt
- Move the hair dryer gently back and forth across the line of crayons from a distance of about 6 to 12 inches away. The closer you are to the crayons, the more they will splatter
- The crayons will begin to melt and drip downward
- You can experiment with aiming the hair dryer straight on or at an angle to mix colors
- Wax that drips onto the umbrella or other shape can be chipped off after it dries or wiped off to create a “watercolor” effect on the shape
- Once the hair dryer is turned off, the wax cools and dries quickly
- Hang or display your art!
You can find The Day the Crayons Came Home at these booksellers
Picture Book Review