Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Day With No Crayons

Written by Elizabeth Rusch
Illustrated by Chad Cameron
Most enjoyed by Kindergartners through 3rd graders

Liza loves her crayons. Her completed pictures are everywhere - the fridge, the bathroom, her bedroom. When Liza runs out of paper one day, what should she draw on but a blank white wall. Mom's not too happy with this and takes away Liza's crayons. But will this stop Liza from creating? Of course not! The world is full of color, as she soon discovers, and those colors aren't limited to a crayon box.

This is a wonderful story about creativity and how it can blossom when barriers and boundaries are removed. Liza is a free spirit that many young readers will identify with. The illustrations combine nicely with the story. For example, when Liza's crayons are taken away, the color illustrations switch to black and white, signifying how dark her world seems without color. Watch what happens, though, when Liza gets a grass stain on her jeans, then rubs in some yellow from a dandelion and orange from a tiger lily. Color reappears!

I'd pair this book with 'My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks', reviewed here. The emphasis on art in both books makes them naturals to be used as an introduction to a collage art project.

Creating can be such fun, and you'll find 'A Day with No Crayons' to be a perfect source of artistic inspiration!

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