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Harold and the Purple Crayon [Paperback]

Crockett Johnson
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 7.99
Price: CDN$ 7.59 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

May 20 1981 Purple Crayon Books

One evening Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight. But there wasn't any moon, and Harold needed a moon for a walk in the moonlight. Fortunately, he had brought his purple crayon. So he drew a moon. He also needed something to walk on. So he drew a path...

And thus begins one of the most imaginative and enchanting adventures in all of children's books. The creative concept behind this beloved story has intrigued children and kept them absorbed for generations, as page by page unfolds the dramatic and clever adventures of Harold and his purple crayon.

Frequently Bought Together

Harold and the Purple Crayon + The Story of Ferdinand + Where The Wild Things Are
Price For All Three: CDN$ 21.78

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From Amazon

"One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." So begins this gentle story that shows just how far your imagination can take you. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement. But this is no hare-brained, impulsive flight of fantasy. Cherubic, round-headed Harold conducts his adventure with the utmost prudence, letting his imagination run free, but keeping his wits about him all the while. He takes the necessary purple-crayon precautions: drawing landmarks to ensure he won't get lost; sketching a boat when he finds himself in deep water; and creating a purple pie picnic when he feels the first pangs of hunger.

Crockett Johnson's understated tribute to the imagination was first published in 1955, and has been inspiring readers of all ages ever since. Harold's quiet but magical journey reminds us of the marvels the mind can create, and also gives us the wondrous sense that anything is possible. (Ages 4 to 8) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"...For generations, children have cherished this ingenious and original little picture story." -- Horn Book

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One evening, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decide to go for a walk in the moonlight. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute tribute to unfettered imagination July 22 2000
"Harold and the Purple Crayon" was one of my favorite books as a child, and I bought a copy the day I found out my wife was pregnant. I've tried a few times to interest my daughter in the book, but it was a bit too sophisticated for a 3-month old! Now that my daughter is three years old, she just pulled out this book from her shelf and asked me to read it to her. She was ready for it, and the magic worked! The story of Harold and his purple crayon drawing anything he can think of is still every bit as entrancing to her as it was to me thirty years ago. In story structure, it's very much like Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," but without the rebelliousness of Max: like Max, Harold goes on an adventure into his imaginary world, and then must find his way home. In short, an excellent classic, deserving of new generations of readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Story of a Little Boy with a Huge Imagination June 8 2004
This classic little book is a lovely reflection on childhood imagination and the joys of creativity.
Tiny wide-eyed Harold, in his one piece jammies and purple crayon in hand, wanders through the night using the dark canvas of sky to draw whatever fanciful dreamscapes his curious young mind can conjure.
No dummy is our Harold. He is an inventive little fellow who devises his own path, invents his own moon to light his way, makes a boat when he finds himself enveloped in a purple sea, creates pies when he is hungry, and so on until he is tired. Thanks to cleverly leaving behind special images as pointers to guide his way, he makes it back home in one piece and with lots of exciting stories to tell.
This is such a delightful book for children and one of the reasons is that it can be used interactively. Read the story with your kids then give them some crayons and a huge sheet of paper and let them loose to design and explore their own magical worlds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it to your child Dec 28 2006
By David
My son fell in love with this book. It showed him that all he needs is his life is the imagination to have an adventure. It is a book that is both calming and empowering to kids. It allows them to dream and imagine. It is a classic that certainly deserves your consideration. Another such volume is "Cats are Rascals". Make them available to your children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Charming, Absolutely Perfect Bedtime Story April 22 2002
I loved to read as a child, and my uncle provided me with so many wonderful books... but somehow, he missed this one. I never heard of it until a friend of mine bought this book for my son. So at age 32, I experienced Harold and the Purple Crayon for the time. What a wonderful story! Harold takes his purple crayon and draws himself many different scenes, from a trip across the ocean to a balloon ride to a walk in the city. Crockett Johnson keeps the story moving at a fast but easy pace, and as a result it flows very nicely. My son has just turned three and he is starting to really get into it. This one is sure to be one of your children's favorite books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for every child's library. Jan. 6 2004
By A Customer
Harold and the Purple Crayon was a favorite of mine when I was a child (in the late 1950's). I was delighted to find it again when my children were born, and it soon became a favorite of theirs. They declared the apple tree to be a donut tree (then pronounced "doe-doe"), and insisted on naming every type of pie on the picnic blanket, every time we read the book! It is now the first book I include in the collection I give as a baby shower gift.
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Twenty-five years after I last read the story of "Harold and the Purple Crayon", I picked up the book again to read it to my four-year-old son. He loved it! Several years later, I picked up a copy again to send to my grandson.... what amazed me about both those times (even with the lengthy intervals between them) was that I had forgotten nothing. The pictures were burned into my mind's eye; the text still a part of my memory. I found that I could recite the story of Harold and his crayon without even looking.
This is a true celebration of the imagination, and in my opinion the very best children's book ever! It has a profound impact on adults as well as children, and it is infinitely delightful. (I even learned my very first play-on-words/pun from Crockett Johnson's classic (near the end of the book, when Harold "drew up the covers").
"Harold and the Purple Crayon" is the first and by far the best book in Crockett Johnson's "Harold" series, but it is not necessarily Johnson's best work. That distinction is reserved for his old "Barnaby" series of comic book stories, with the memorable Fairy Godfather Mr. O'Malley (hmmmm... come to think of it: Barnaby and Harold look a lot alike-- could they be related?).
If you have children emerging from the theatrical threes and heading into the fabulous fours, try them on "Harold and the Purple Crayon". It is a masterpiece of perfect simplicity and imaginative joy!
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Most people remember Harold and the Purple Crayon, and wont need to read reviews before buying this for their kids. If you somehow didn't read the Harold books when you were young, you will read many other reviews that say they are great books that have stood the test of time, I agree. The story is simple and easy to follow, the illustrations are equally simple, but the story grabs kids attention. There is something magical about Harold and his adventures, as he draws various things, they become real. It is the magic that sparkles in every child's mind, imagination. Harold is also plucky and resourceful, when he accidentally draws an ocean and falls in, or accidentally leaves a mountain unfinished and falls off, he doesn't panic, but thinks a way out and draws a boat and a hot air balloon to climb into. What a guy! The story is often humorous, a big plus with kids, but not overly so. It has a quiet and calm feel to it, and that combined with the fact that Harold gets tired and goes to bed in the end makes it a wonderful bedtime book. It is also great for young readers (probably Level 2), the words are for the most part short and not too hard. My daughter is a slow reader and has only been reading on her own for about 6 or 7 months and she read this with almost no help, I only had to guide her through a few difficult words. It is a lot of pages for a young reader, but since there is only one or two sentences per page, the story isn't that long. The book also appeals to a wide range of ages, it keeps the attention of my three year old, but doesn't seem like a baby book for my ten year old. I think it stems from the fact that, even though the story is so simple it never once talks down. Adults will also appreciate Harold, even those who don't look on him with fond memories. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This series of books have been a family favorite for 2 generations.
Published 1 month ago by Pam brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this story
This is one of my favorite children's books. Ambitious and creative Harold takes you on an adventure by drawing new places and things to see. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Anonanon
5.0 out of 5 stars <3
My favourite as a kid

I'm not going to write a novel about the products I buy, if they suck ill let people know but otherwise you get a 2-3 word review then this message
Published 15 months ago by Nin
5.0 out of 5 stars We love this book!
We have 3 kids and they all love this book! So cool, how a crayon can create such an adventure!
Published 20 months ago by Nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars very imaginative
Very cute story with alot of imagination. Originally bought this for my five year old niece but once I got it, I realized that it was better for a younger child.
Published 21 months ago by crafty canadian mom
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun-filled Imaginative Movie In Your Head
My kids were laughing hysterically when I first read this book to them. Harold had an amazing adventure with his purple crayon. Read more
Published on Nov. 26 2008 by C. Lin
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing book!
this is one of those books where not only do the children in my life enjoy this book, but i do as well. for a kid's book, it's pretty existential. Read more
Published on March 25 2008 by elfdart
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best bedtime books ever!
My 3.5 year old son adores this book and I do too. We read it nearly every night. Harold is an imaginative little boy who draws a world of his own. Read more
Published on June 25 2004 by reestar
5.0 out of 5 stars Harold harold bow-berald, banna fanna foe-ferald...
There's something about Crockett Johnson (real name David Johnson Leisk) that is instantly recognizable. Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by E. R. Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars Harold et la differance
Under an everpresent crescent moon, Harold's signifying crayon implies the metacritique immanent in all eschatologies: Outcoding the text beneath him, he at once embraces and... Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by C. Gardner
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