Daywalt, D., & Jeffers, O. (illustrator). (2013). The Day the Crayons Quit. New York: Philomel Books.
Duncan is shocked when instead of his crayons he finds a stack of letters, written by his crayons, announcing that they’ve quit!
This book is creative and humorous. Each page features a letter written by a different coloured crayon and an accompanying illustration. The letters are sassy and comical, and any child (or adult) who has ever coloured will find truth in the letters.
The story is definitely unique and enjoyable. It is rather long for a picture book– there are 13 letters– which means it’s not a great choice for a story time and more likely to be read by older children.
Based on its uniqueness and ingenuity, I give this book a 4.5 out of 5.
Nelson, J. (2014). I’ll give you the sun. New York, NY: Penguin.
In this award-winning novel, Nelson weaves together the stories of twins, Jude and Noah. The story is told over the span of three years, alternating between Jude’s perspective, when the twins are 16, and Noah’s perspective, when they’re 13. The final product is an intricately told tale about family, love, and art.
Nelson’s novel is quirky and enjoyable. Her colourful writing is full of visual imagery. The story is heavily focused on art, and this comes through in Nelson’s words. It is a piece of art in itself.
This story has a wide appeal. The use of two main characters makes this gender-neutral. The use of two narrators of differing ages also makes this a story for younger and older teen audiences.
In terms of limitations, the novel is quite long (the e-book was over 400 pages long), and it took me a little while to get into the story. By the middle of the story, however, I was hooked.
This book is beautifully written and is still readable (moreso than We Were Liars by E. Lockhart). The story is genuine and engaging, even if it was a little slow in the beginning. Because of these factors I give it a 4.75.
Note: This book won the American Library Association 2015 Printz Award for Young Adult literature. Check out other winners.