Book Review: The Day the Crayons Quit


As mentioned in a previous blog post ( using stories to discuss feelings with children is a great way to teach social and emotional skills, as well as build resilience. A new book that has quickly become a favourite at Pathways Trust and amongst children, is: “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.

Duncan just wants to draw a picture, but when he opens up his box of crayons, he finds that they have all quit leaving behind letters for him. Each crayon writes about their feelings: Beige is quite dejected as he doesn’t feel he is as popular as brown and no one gets excited about colouring with him: grey is exhausted from colouring all those large animals; Green is quite happy being Duncan’s favourite colour, however he is worried about yellow and Orange. Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking, each think they are the correct colour for the sun.

For social and emotional learning it describes ways in which problems and complaints can be expressed. This is something that younger children often have never had the opportunity to learn. In addition the book can be used to facilitate discussion on how to resolve the problems. What should they say or what can be done to bring the crayons back to finish Duncan’s drawing.

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