Before I had children I used to acquire books at a rate of knots that might to the casual observer suggest that I feared that the printed word was in imminent danger of extinction. I’ve slowed down a little since the girls arrived, mostly because I’m not reading grown up books quite as fast any more, and if the pile beside my bedside table gets any higher there’s every chance that when it topples over at 1am I’ll become submerged in an ocean of paperbacks. The fiction would be OK, but I’ve still got the Lightroom FAQs up there and no one wants that landing on their head in the middle of the night.
But there’s just something about new books that’s completely irresistible. I don’t know whether it’s the feel or just the excitement of a new story, or whether I should be on Hoarders after all, but it is perhaps possible that I’ve simply transferred my habit to children’s books. Well, it is me that’s reading them after all.
Today’s tale, The Day the Crayons Quit, is one of those books that really pushes at the boundary of bought-for-the-girls versus bought-for-me. And by ‘pushes’ I of course mean ‘hurdles it effortlessly and runs a victory lap around the metaphorical field’.
I bought it for H.
I’d picked it up on a little detour into the bookshop in search of something new and lovely for Elma, and knew that H would love it, and love reading it to his mini artists in training.
It’s a simple enough concept; Duncan goes to get out his crayons and instead finds a little pile of envelopes, a letter from each colour in the box.
Purple is getting stressed about being used outside the lines, Red is feeling the strain of covering every major holiday, Pink protests gender stereotyping, and Peach, Peach would just like a label so that it can come out of the crayon box without blushing.
It’s Drew Daywalt’s first book, and I very much hope not his last, especially when you combine the humour of the letters with Oliver Jeffers’ trademark naïve illustrations.
Initially I thought it would be a little advanced for Kitty and it is clearly aimed at school age children, but she loved it, hugged it, carried it around the house, and requested it for bedtime story with a sleepy “crayons please!” for at least a week; always a sign of a success.
She likes to turn the pages, call out the colours, and has started to parrot a little of each story while we read, although she hasn’t quite decided whether pink or purple is her favourite page – it largely depends on what she’s wearing that day.
And by the looks of the little fingers sneaking into my photos…
I think someone else is a fan too!
So what have you been reading this week? We’ve all been a bit busy with the Bank Holiday so there’s no linky today, but if you have been reading something lovely, please let me know in the comments, there’s still some space on our bookcases!