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Harold and the Purple Crayon Paperback – May 20 1981


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Harold and the Purple Crayon + Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day + Where The Wild Things Are
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Tegen Other (May 20 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064430227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064430227
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 15.2 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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"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.

Review

"...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

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert James on July 22 2000
Format: Paperback
"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 By Baroness Von Grim on June 8 2004
Format: Paperback
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 By David on Dec 28 2006
Format: Paperback
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 By JamesQMurphy on April 22 2002
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on Jan. 6 2004
Format: Paperback
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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By elfdart TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 25 2008
Format: Hardcover
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. A boy goes through this world where nothing exists and with his purple crayon, creates his world. What makes it more than just a kids book, what gives it the philosophical premise is that even though harold starts the story with this crayon, and has the power to draw anything, become anything, because all he need do is draw whatever he wants to be or where ever he wants to go, even though he has this power, he is unsatisfied and goes on a journey. he uses his crayon to create the world as he goes through it and ultimately finds some contentment, a resting place if you will :P, but the fact that he can create is irrelevant, its a means to an end. The implied 'end' gives us something to think about, and though the children who are meant to be reading this book will not go into such depth with the symbolism or the philosophy, they will pick up on some of the questions the author asks, like what is harold looking for? why did he need to do all that stuff if he was just going to end up back at home? (though actually he didn't start at home). even if the kids don't burst their brains thinking about this, even if they don't come to any logical conclusion, even if they don't ask any questions to begin with, i think exposing our kids to this kind of story is important. aside from being very amusing, it provides intellectual stimulation for those who look for it and for those who don't, well one day they may look back on this story as an example of some conclusion or another they have drawn.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
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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