As readers of this blog know, I adore Gooseberry Lane by Bethany Tudor. It was, in fact, the inspiration for this site. Another favorite children’s book is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. For some reason, this morning, as I was surfing around on Amazon.com for a copy of Messenger by Lois Lowry (high school book club selection for March), I thought of lovable Harold and his magic, imaginative crayon. Upon checking, I discovered that 2005 was the 50th anniversary of the original Harold tale. Since then, many more yarns about the small boy and his crayon have been penned. If you and your children, or grandchildren, have never been introduced to Harold, let me do so now. These are his stories, all by Crockett Johnson. Enjoy!
Harold and the Purple Crayon
The lovable boy uses his purple crayon to draw a moon, a path, a forest, an ocean, and a balloon. He draws until he is tired and must find his way home. 1955.
Harold’s Fairy Tale
Harold goes for a walk in a magic garden where nothing grows. Why? To discover the answer, Harold draws a castle so that he may go inside to ask the king. 1956.
Harold’s Trip to the Sky
On his way to get a drink of water, Harold (along with his crayon and the moon) finds himself in a desert. Rather than stay in such a dull place, Harold goes to the moon, draws himself a rocket, and travels through the sky. 1957.
Harold goes for a walk on a tightrope and tumbles into a circus where everyone puts on a great show under the big top. 1959.
In this last Harold book, the adorable hero journeys through the alphabet. Using his crayon, he transforms each letter into something special. 1963.
Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.