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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on June 9, 2000
*Harold and the Purple Crayon* mesmerized me as a child. My 5 year old adores it, and my ten year old can't hide his continuing enthusiasm. With his purple Crayon, sensible Harold creates the moon so that he can see where he's going. He accidentally creates the sea (his drawing hand shakes, thus making waves appear) but soon negates this potential danger by drawing a boat and, finally, land. When hungry, Harold draws a delicious picnic with purple food. Harold copes.
The central idea is that a child, no matter how small, can exert control over the world, and when that child makes mistakes -- drawing a choppy sea, for instance -- those mistakes can be remedied. This book gives a child power. Grown-ups don't count; Harold makes what he needs without help. Under the influence of this book, at the ripe age of 11, I created a club called "The Purple X", in which, using purple markers to send letters, I set out to right all wrongs. Harold goes one better; he makes light and land. And the book makes children who feel empowered to tackle the problems of a big, scary world.
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on May 5, 2000
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.
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on May 15, 2003
I told my mother about this book for years after having read it in kindergarten. She had never seen it. Well, this classic children's book is back in print, and even my mother now knows what the fuss was all about.
Harold is a boy chock full of imagination. He meanders about with just his purple crayon, creating his surroundings. He draws himself into situtations, and has to keep his wits about him in order to draw himself out of any trouble that results in his adventures.
My 4 boys always seemed to like that Harold could extract himself from whatever messes he got himself into. They are fun books, with adventures, but they end on a calming note. They are perfect for bedtime, as they don't wind the children up, but they do hold their interest. (There is a whole series of Harold and the Purple Crayon books) So, for good clean fun, as long as your little ones know not to draw on walls Harold is a never fail hit. My Harold books are all well read.
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on November 21, 2001
Once read it, you will never forget "Harold and the Purple Crayon." As a parent and one who has studied psychology, what I liked most about the book is the fact it teaches children to pursue their creative thoughts and talents. By nature, children are usually quite creative. As they grow older, many children retain their creativity but, unfortunately, a good number sometimes suppress their creativity out of fear of what others may think. Harold really does not care what anyone thinks, he just goes on doing what it is he enjoys doing - making good use of his purple crayon. He is creative, but also extremely resourceful, creating a pie when he is hungry and drawing a boat when the water is becomes too deep. Children will love the story and are sure to remember it for many years to come.
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on March 3, 2002
I think that younger kids love this story so much because it's a book that operates the way they do-vivid but simple ideas put forth in a more or less stream of consciousness style that mirrors the very young child's thinking pattern. Harold's adventure is one where one things move together quickly in a not necessarily logical, but highly imaginative sequence.
Also, Harold is the one in control-an aspect that I think also really appeals to kids. Everything in the story appears solely by virtue of Harold employing his imagination to his surrounding. Isn't that essentially that a 4 years olds play pattern is most of the time?
That it is a sweet and fun tale only adds to the enjoyment.
A great book that your kids will have you reading to them over and over again.
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on November 21, 2001
Do books influence kids? Well, this one influenced me. First of all, the author went to the same college as my dad--Cooper Union. This is a very history education institution in New York that specializes in art, architecture and engineering. You can see some of the influence in Mr. Johnson's almost blueprint-style stories.
Johnson was actually a cartoonist and married to an author of children's books. Maurice Sendak, the very reknown author of children's literature spent time collaborating and learning from Johnson.
The idea of creating a world with a purple crayon is utterly compelling. The 40's and 50's retro style of the drawing is irresistible. Share this with someone you love and take a walk in the moonlight together. Don't forget the crayon.
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on September 7, 2003
I'm now 38 years old, I read a lot as a child and my "Harold and the Purple Crayon" books were read again and again for many years. I was delighted to find this book with all of Crockett Johnson's "Harold and the Purple Crayon" stories in them because I could introduce my nephew and niece to a character and stories I loved. My nephew dove right into the book when I gave it to him and told him how much I loved the same stories when I was his age. Parents, I strongly recommend this book because it's the original stories all in one book, the pictures are simple and engaging, the writing isn't overly complex or simplified, so it helps build reading/spelling skills and vocabulary.
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on September 18, 1998
Our family loves Harold and the Purple Crayon as well as all the books in the Harold series. Harold is the original Charlie Brown with his cute round head. With his crayon, he can meet any challenge, climb any mountain, do battle with any witch. Kids see Harold as quite the adventurer as he draws himself to faraway places but they also see the trouble he can draw himself. into as well. But in the end, Harold usually draws himself home, safe and snuggled under the covers. The book has a wonderful rhythm to it that appeals to kids. It is a book that is both calming and empowering to kids, it allows them to dream and imagine. A classic that deserves more notice.
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on March 7, 1998
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.
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on September 8, 2000
I loved to read and be read to as a child (and still do to this day), and Harold and the Purple Crayon has always been my favorite children's story. Now that I'm in college, my battered, well-loved copy of the book still has a special place on my shelf. Harold was my role model. He could do anything, solve any problem. He made mistakes, but he could figure out how to fix them. And at the end of the day, Harold went to bed, just like I did. It is imaginative and fun, and it always made me feel like I could do anything. If you have children, get this book for them. They'll be sure to love it!
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