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Harold and the Purple Crayon Board book – September 29, 2015
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"One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." So begins this gentle story that shows just how far your imagination can take you. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement. But this is no hare-brained, impulsive flight of fantasy. Cherubic, round-headed Harold conducts his adventure with the utmost prudence, letting his imagination run free, but keeping his wits about him all the while. He takes the necessary purple-crayon precautions: drawing landmarks to ensure he won't get lost; sketching a boat when he finds himself in deep water; and creating a purple pie picnic when he feels the first pangs of hunger.
Crockett Johnson's understated tribute to the imagination was first published in 1955, and has been inspiring readers of all ages ever since. Harold's quiet but magical journey reminds us of the marvels the mind can create, and also gives us the wondrous sense that anything is possible. (Ages 4 to 8) --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
"This popular translation of one of the world's most beloved children's books, "Harold and the Purple Crayon, " is now available in a bold new trim size with a bright and engaging treatment of the original cover art. For generations, children have cherished this ingenious and original little picture story." --"Horn Book" --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
As such, the new board book version of Harold is a major distortion of the original magical book. Pages and words are combined and illustrations completely omitted compared to the original. As a result most of the magic is lost. I urge you to buy another version than this Board Book. I bought them as gifts and had to return them. If anyone can comment on how faithful the paperback version is to the original story, I would suggest purchasing that for now. This Board Book is NOT the same magical story.
However, I did want to offer this suggestion to everyone: spend the extra money on the hardcover edition.
I may have set my expectations a bit high, but since the paperback price was relatively expensive (costing 30 - 50% more than comparable paperbacks) and touted as the 50th Anniversary Edition, I thought it would be "nice". However, I have to say that I was pretty disappointed with the construction quality.
Unless you're giving it to a teenager or adult as a keepsake type of gift, the paperback isn't going to stand up against an age-appropriate child, or to time itself. If I hadn't bought it as part of the 4-for-3 promotion, I'd almost certainly exchange it for the hardcover.
The drawings are clear. That little Harold is so darling -- all head and crayon and cuteness. The stories take Harold on adventures that always end safely at home in bed.
They are a fun way to imagine... what comes next? When we make up family stories, sometimes we try to find new directions to take a story, especially when one gets sidetracked (by silliness, grossness, etc. -- I have boys). These Harold stories do exactly the same thing: when Harold gets stuck, or nervous, or in danger, he just imagines his way out of it.
The books are very clever. The illustrations are basically line drawings, but they convey the story perfectly. I like this collection because it has 4 Harold stories together.
Anyway, my youngest went through a book-ripping phase about a year ago, so we put up all the books with pages and kept the board books down at his level. Somehow, Harold got misplaced. We got it out again this week, and to my joy, yesterday the 6-year old was reading it to the 3-year-old. They were laughing and giggling about the book, and I fell in love with the story all over again.
***updated*** this book includes four stories:
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Harold's Fairy Tale
Harold's Trip to the Sky
Harold is a kid with an imaginary purple crayon that enables him to draw whatever he needs or desires. The story starts with him wanting to take a walk in the moonlight, so he draws a path and a moon. Soon Harold is creating trees, sailboats, dragons, high-rise buildings, and many other figments from his imagination as he goes on an intricate adventure.
When Harold is hungry, he draws pies; when he's falling off a mountain, he creates a balloon that brings him safely to ground. The illustrations, in purple (duh!), are thick, crayon-like line drawings that are expressive and elegant in their simplicity.
More than anything, the story is about the power and joy of a life of the imagination. It's a book a child can hear over and over again that can become both a trusted friend and a comfortable entrance into the land of dreams.
So read it to a beloved child in your life. Or read it to the child in yourself.
There's no mischief. No real stress. It is an easy bedtime story, but it is full of wonder. What world would your child draw?
The words and drawings are great for early readers, with plenty to discuss if you like. I fully recommend "Harold and the Purple Crayon" by Crockett Johnson.