Friday, August 14, 2015

Red: a Crayon's Story by Michael Hall

He came from the factory labeled Red, so why was he not able to color strawberries correctly? Why couldn't he and yellow color an orange? Everyone from the pencil to the scissors had suggestions, but nothing worked. Wasn't he trying hard enough? Wasn't he bright enough?

Red: a Crayon's Story is the most clear and simple explanation I've yet seen of how it feels when you are expected to be something you are not. It's a cautionary tale for parents and teachers who may encounter a child whose identity falls outside of expectations. It is perfect for helping children understand a child who doesn't fit in. And it can reassure a child who is confused by external demands that conflict with internal identity. It can be read as an affirmation of individual creativity or even as an explanation of people who are transgender. Or it can simply introduce words and concepts about colors.

Children will relate easily to the illustrations which can be seen from the back row of a storytime. For more about crayons, try Drew Daywalt's The Day the Crayons Quit reviewed before on this blog. Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni is another simply illustrated book about colors that carries an underlying message. For a non-conformist secure in his identity, the classic choice is Munro Leaf's The Story of Ferdinand

Review by Carolyn Caywood, retired from VBPL

No comments: