Happy Easter from the Crayons

Philomel. Feb. 2023. 32p. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780593621059.
Toddler-PreS–In this holiday-themed offering from seasoned duo Daywalt and Jeffers, the crayons are back for some Easter egg decorating antics. Daywalt’s accessible short simple sentences in typed font contrast with handwritten penciled dialogue among the crayons and provide the juxtaposing humor. The repetitive text appears to follow a natural pattern—until a line is repeated twice, both by yellow and orange, and is then abandoned, leaving the joke mid-sentence without a clear path for readers. Jeffers uses gouache technique, ink, colored pencil, and crayons (of course) to create delightfully busy and colorful endpapers that contrast with stark white backgrounds throughout. White slightly textured shapes are initially almost indistinguishable from the surroundings, until the designated crayon decorates the shape with patterns and designs. The resulting effect is muted. The penultimate reveal does not entirely coalesce into a visually coherent final product, and the last spread leaves readers as confused as the bunny-eared purple crayon. The sight gag is either too subtle or not subtle enough; the overall impact of the artwork does not match the exuberance of the high-energy egg hiding-and-seeking activity of the Easter holiday. While the book is not festive enough for the holiday, Esteban (the green crayon that seems to prefer going by a different name) and the stubby blue crayon are highly entertaining, laugh-out-loud standouts that will draw audiences to it.
VERDICT An additional purchase for larger library collections where the series is popular.

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