Love from the Crayons
“another delightful crayon story . . .”
Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers have paired up again for another delightful crayon story. This one presents all the rainbow colors of love through the personalities of the different crayons. The text is simple, a series of all the things love is. Love is purple, for example, “because love has its own imagination.” The accompanying art shows a purple drawing of a wizard and dragon. The standard colors all appear along with one oddball, peach.
Peach presents one false note in the book. Why there is peach when there is already pink is a question. Also why is peach “because sometimes love can hide? Is peach a shy color? The other problematic color is brown. Brown shows a bear with a pile of poop nearby “because sometimes love stinks.” For all the brown-skinned children, this might be offensive and considering how hypersensitive the children’s book industry is to these issues, it’s surprising a sharp-eyed editor didn’t suggest a change. The only other negative description for love is blue, “because sometimes love is stormy.” But stormy is much better than stinky, especially a poopy stink.
Still, the crayons have a lot of kid appeal and the drawings they do are very much like those the young people who read this book might make, inviting the readers to draw their own colors of love and what it feels like. The invitingly small size is perfect for little hands, almost the same size as a big box of Crayola crayons itself, suggesting that turning the pages is like opening one’s own set of colors. The publisher is positioning this as a Valentine’s Day gift for adults, and that may be a crossover audience, but this is a book that invites drawing as well as reading, something kids are much better at than most grown-ups.