Evan learns a lot about life in general and colors in particular as his new set of crayons ages.
“Evan had a brand new set of crayons, perfect in every way until…SNAP!” The tousle-headed, large-eyed Evan is Everychild as he grapples with the first time a crayon breaks—a trauma well-known by young artists. A humorous, four-vignette sequence follows on the next double-page spread, as Evan tries in vain to mend the unmendable brown crayon, by ordering, pressing, and taping it, respectively. His first of many aha moments comes when he realizes that “one broken crayon became two crayons,” and he proceeds to create such tandem items as railroad tracks and tiger stripes. The artwork, a lively mixture of colored pencil and, of course, crayons, perfectly complements the childlike-but-highly-legible printing on each page. As crayons disappear or break or wear down, Evan eventually learns—by his own experimentation—such things as the usefulness of primary colors and how to create rubbings from textures underneath paper. There is even a gentle hint about appropriate ways of venting frustration: “Evan felt like throwing things. But instead, he scribbled.” The thoughtful ending is a child-friendly way to introduce the philosophy that what we call art may well be a mixture of science and imagination—with a little magic thrown into the mix.
A beautifully humorous ode to both pragmatism and imagination. (Picture book. 4-8)