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Harold and the Purple Crayon

(Book #1 in the Harold Series)

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Format: Board book

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

From beloved children's book creator Crockett Johnson comes the timeless classic Harold and the Purple Crayon One evening Harold decides to go for a walk in the moonlight. Armed only with an oversize... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

8 ratings

Three year old loves

My three and four year old like this book. My three year old went through a few week phase of wanting to read this book every night. It encourages using your imagination.

Now our grandkids are enjoying this book!

A classic enjoyed by our children and now our grandchildren!

So delightful!

My granddaughter ydia first learning to read can read it now by herself and likes this book so much! We both enjoy hearing it together...

What Is Reality?

This splendid little book starts with the protagonist, Harold, "...thinking it over for some time" and deciding to go for a walk in the moonlight. This may seem unremarkable, but it is not. There is no moon. There is nothing to walk on. There is nowhere to go. For the only things that are real are Harold and the purple crayon. Otherwise, the universe in which he finds himself is apparently empty; nothing else is present. But what does nothing look like? It looks like nothing - a blank sheet of paper. But that kind of nothing is just exactly what is needed when what one is holding in one's hand is a purple crayon. And so the adventure gets underway. The first thing Harold does on setting out is draw a horizontal line. This may seem unimportant, but it is not. For what he has drawn is the horizon, and this means that now he is standing on the ground. He can walk on it too... Next he draws the moon (necessary if the walk is indeed to be in the moonlight). Harold draws it above the horizon - this means that it is in the sky. Now there is a reference point for height, and a world of three dimensions has come into being. Off he goes, drawing a path, a forest (with only one tree so he won't get lost in it) and a dragon to guard the apples that are growing in the tree. Here the creator encounters unintended consequences, as the dragon that he has wrought is so fearsome as to frighten even him. Harold backs away, his hand shaking, inadvertently drawing a wavy line as he goes. The wavy line traces out waves, and before he knows it, Harold is underwater in an ocean. He rescues himself by drawing a boat and makes his way to an unknown distant shore. The rest of the story is about Harold's trying to find his way back home. On the way there are more adventures as Harold searches far and wide. He creates an entire city with many windows but none of them is his. But then, he remembers how he used to see the moon through the window of his room. And all that is needed for homecoming is to draw a box around the moon - now he is inside looking out. As Harold draws his bed around him and goes to sleep, I found myself pondering what's real and what is not, and reflecting on those moments when we wonder where we really are and how we ever got to be here.

Harold, creator of worlds....

Yes, I am a 45 year old man writing a review for a children's book, and, no, I do not think that I ought to be ashamed of myself. A short while ago I stumbled upon a copy of this book by accident and I could't believe the flood of warm and pleasant memories that it brought back. This was perhaps my favorite childhood book, along with the sequels. Maybe this was because from my earliest memories I always wanted to be an artist, and that is what Harold was, an artist with a magic purple crayon. He was more than an artist, he was a creator of worlds. That was important, he wasn't presented as a trivial person doing "art", he was the creative force behind whole new worlds. Or "co-creator", for he often seemed as surprised as the reader at what flowed out of that crayon. While I didn't become an artist, I did work for most of my life as a draftsman and designer. I've seen many, many things in the real world start life as a drawing on my board or computer screen. I think that I kept faith with Harold....

Purple classic.

My mother teaches preschool to mostly Spanish-speakers, so this was a must have. A very good translation of the beloved English classic.

The opening of an impressionable child's eyes

I read this book when I borrowed it from the library in my elementary school. I am now 18, and still reminisce on my beloved journeys around the world in a hot air balloon with Harold. This is the book that I borrowed for the first time, and then got it later again and again. It is one of the first books that ever opened my mind up to the total loss of imagination to all possibilities. Every time I read it I would think of many more adventures Harold could have had with his mystical purple crayon. Even to this day, I can think of no better book to give a child's imagination a glimpse of what possibilities there are. It is easy reading for the youngest of believers, but gives thought of what could be to even the oldest readers. I personally was not a child who favored reading, but this book was one of the few that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was one that I would read in the library while the class was still in it, and then would bring home for further enjoyment. I cannot recommend this book higher for any child whose imagination can run wild.

My brother and I share great memories of this little book.

I recently ran into the paperback version of this book and sent a copy to my brother - Harold - to read to his kids. I remembered reading it when we were kids. When he received it in the mail, he called to thank me and shared something very special. Harold is dyslexic and recalls that this book was one of the few he could read and relate to as a child. He is an electrical contractor and to this day, he ONLY uses a purple crayon on his jobs to mark electrical outlets and boxes. So - if your ever in Boulder,Co. and you happen to see a big blonde guy on a construction sight drawing outlets in purple - Well - that's Harold and his purple crayon.

Harold and the Purple Crayon Mentions in Our Blog

Harold and the Purple Crayon in What's New and Coming Soon in Book-to-Screen
What's New and Coming Soon in Book-to-Screen
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • June 18, 2024

It's always fun to see how good books get adapted for the screen. But sometimes, this happens before we've had the chance to read the source material. Or maybe we just want to reread the book before we watch. Here are sixteen of the books behind the buzziest book-to-screen adaptations.

Harold and the Purple Crayon in Raising Lifelong Readers
Raising Lifelong Readers
Published by Amanda Cleveland • August 25, 2022
ThriftBooks enlisted OnePoll to survey 2,000 parents of school-aged children about their kids' reading habits and personal libraries, and we found some page-turning stats. Here are some of our favorite findings.
Harold and the Purple Crayon in Board Books vs. Picture Books
Board Books vs. Picture Books
Published by Barbara Hagen • November 07, 2021

Since November is National Family Literacy Month, I thought I would take a moment to share my thoughts on reading to those littlest ones between the ages of 0-4 and the oft asked question when selecting books for this age: Which is better, Board Books or Picture Books?

Harold and the Purple Crayon in Gift-giving on a Budget Two Sizes Too Small
Gift-giving on a Budget Two Sizes Too Small
Published by Eva • December 02, 2015

Holiday shopping guides are everywhere, so why should you read mine? Because I'm a college student. Which means I'm broke. Which means I'm basically a gift-giving magician. So here's your guide to the holiday season – on a very, very tight budget.

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