I Gotta Be Me! RED: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall
"First to thine own self be true," wrote Shakespeare, and in this colorful tale, "Red" has no choice in that matter. Despite the fact that his Crayola-ish wrapper looks red and clearly says RED, he has a reason to feel blue. He actually IS blue all the way through.
But his perky teacher seems oblivious to the obvious.
"I'LL DRAW RED STRAWBERRIES! THEN YOU CAN DRAW RED STRAWBERRIES!" SHE CHIRPED WITH FEIGNED ENTHUSIASM.
Teacher colors a row of red strawberries, and poor RED tries to do likewise, applying himself and pressing on with the task, but of course all his berries are blue.
Red's mom OLIVE tries to help. She arranges a playdate with little YELLOW, suggesting that they might like to combine their talents by coloring some oranges. Strangely, all of their fruits come out green! His grandparents, SILVER and GRAY, suggest he draw a self-portrait.
BUT IT SO WASN'T RED!
All his classmates are happy to offer their criticisms. Pencil pointedly suggests that RED just isn't sharp enough for the job.
"FRANKLY, I DON'T THINK HE'S TOO BRIGHT!" SAID FUCHSIA.
It seems that all of the crayons can't see beyond his label to the real RED, until he makes a new friend, BERRY, who recognizes his true hue and asks him to color the water for her boat. He even adds a blue whale to his ocean. Suddenly, RED gets it.
The sky's the limit, as a whole new world opens up to
This crayon tale pairs perfectly with last-year's best-seller, Drew Daywalt's The Day the Crayons Quit (Read my colorful review here.)
Michael Hall is also the author of the cleverest Valentine/color/shape book ever, his heart-y hit, My Heart Is Like a Zoo. (See my heartfelt review here.)