Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Class Homecoming The Day the Crayons Came Back by Drew Daywalt

Remember the thrill of opening that new deluxe box of crayons, with names of colors you never knew existed? Remember those perfect points and clean wrappers? Remember trying to choose between Tomato Red, Fire Engine Red, or Brick Red? Remember the sadness when the first one got broken? Did you ever wonder what happened to all those pristine crayons?

But those days are in the past for Duncan since that calamitous day, The Day the Crayons Quit. Who knew crayons were such a bunch of rivalrous prima donnas?

Still, Duncan has moved on. Those days of solving quarrels between persnickety crayons are all behind him--or so he thought, until he started to get postcards and letters from the long scattered gang. The first one, from a scarcely remembered color, came in the a short note.

Dear Duncan,
Not sure if you remember me--Maroon Crayon? You only colored with me once, to draw a scab. You lost me two years ago in the couch and your dad sat on me and broke me in half.

Soon the cards and letters are pouring in. One comes from the Ritz Motel.

Dear Duncan,
No one likes peas. Or anything pea green.
I'm off to see the world. I'm changing my name.
Esteban (The Crayon Formerly Known as Pea Green)

Hi, Duncan!
It's me, Neon Red Crayon. Remember the great vacation with your family? Remember dropping me in the pool when you left? Clearly you do not, because I'm still there!
--Your left-behind friend, Neon Red Crayon

And then there's one that leaves Duncan slightly nauseated.

Dear Duncan,
I'm sure you wouldn't recognize me after the horrors I have been through. Have you ever been eaten by a dog and puked up on the living room rug? And Duncan, it's not pretty at all. I'm more carpet fuzz than crayon.
--Your Indigestible Friend, Tan (or possibly Burnt Sienna) Crayon

One by one the missing crayons report in--Glow-in-The-Dark Crayon, missing since Halloween, Turquoise, left in Duncan's pocket and melted to an unfortunate sock with him in the dryer, and Big, Chunky Toddler Crayon, with the point bitten off by Duncan's baby brother, who, as BCC pointedly pronounces, is no Picasso! The gang's mostly all home, except for one, that is. Esteban's last post card reports that he's done globe-trotting, but not sure how long before he will arrive back.

"There ARE pyramids in New Jersey, right?

It's hard to top yourself, but Drew Daywalt's and Oliver Jeffers' sequel to their best-selling opener, The Day the Crayons Came Home is a red-letter (Neon Red, that is) winner, a book that kids and any adults lucky enough to get to read aloud will want to repeat often. With slyly sophisticated wit, augmented by the award-winning Oliver Jeffers'creations, anthropomorphic crayons, each one a comic character in its own right, this one is one of those once-in-a-blue moon picture books that every kid should share. "A masterwork of humor and design," says School Library Journal's starred review.

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