September 2017 Issue
August 31, 2017

Check it Out: The day the crayons quit

Source: NYSUT United

Check it Out: 'The Day the Crayons Quit bookcover'Written by: Drew Daywalt

Illustrated by: Oliver Jeffers

Recommended by: Rebecca Benjamin, literacy specialist, Schenectady City School District, Schenectady Federation of Teachers

Suitable for: Pre-kindergarten to fifth grade

Why I chose it: This book easily captures the attention of young minds and works to engage and inspire them throughout the entire story and during follow-up activities. Students will adore reading about their most familiar and accessible art supplies and the personification applied to them. Additionally, the illustrations by Oliver Jeffers portray shapes and crayon strokes that students can see in their own work, allowing them to identify as illustrators.

What I like best: Daywalt makes this reading experience authentic for students by using different topics and devices. The crayons as characters express their feelings and provide support for their emotions in ways that relate to student coloring habits. Conflict is revealed and Duncan, the boy who owns the crayons, is left to problem-solve his way to a resolution. Daywalt's trademark humor delights and enthralls in this story. Students can easily move into understanding and utilizing a plethora of vocabulary words through the support provided in the author's contextualized references.

How teachers can use this book: This book could serve as an introduction or model for writing claims and supporting them with evidence. It could also be used to introduce letter writing and to demonstrate the importance of the written language as a means of authentic communication and positive change through writing. Brainstorming and think-alouds can generate observation of positive communication processes within a community.

About the author: Drew Daywalt is a Hollywood screenwriter. He wrote his first children's book, "The Day the Crayons Quit," after becoming inspired by the sight of a box of unevenly used crayons. The book became a New York Times bestseller. "The Day the Crayons Came Home" is the sequel.

"Check it Out" features books recommended to teachers and parents by school librarians and other educators. Have a recommendation? Send suggestions, along with your name and local union, to