The Forgotten Crayon

minedition. Jan. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9789888341986.
K-Gr 2–Most children (and adults) can relate to the exciting feeling of opening up a brand new box of crayons with each color vibrantly intact. A child, Lucas, loves his new crayons and begins to draw pictures with each color. Maruyama uses anthropomorphism to allow readers to experience the feelings of the crayons. With each picture drawn, and each color used, the crayons return to the box feeling happy and useful, visibly shorter because of their use. Each passing season shows us the crayons getting shorter and shorter with the exception of one white crayon who has never been used. The white crayon anxiously awaits her turn but instead Lucas declares that the crayons are getting old and he needs a new box. A family garage sale allows for the white crayon to be seen—and appreciated—by a little girl. The white crayon finds a new home and magical pictures are created with the crayon and paints representing sea life and beautiful snowfalls. The illustrations mimic childlike coloring but are greatly detailed in soft and appealing ways. The story subtly yet concretely teaches that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that everyone wants to feel loved and included. This child-friendly story of inclusion is presented in a manner that could easily be used for many types of lessons.
VERDICT Recommended as a general purchase for picture book collections. This is a colorful way to teach children that everyone has a gift to give to the world.

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