Harold and the Purple Crayon

Crockett Johnson

Harold and the Purple Crayon
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Harold and the Purple Crayon

Crockett Johnson

One of the launch titles in the amazing new Essential Picture Book Classics list from HarperCollins, this book is full of funny twists and surprises as young Harold draws himself some wonderful adventures. A collectable classic picture book that every child should read and own.

One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, Harold draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement. He conducts his adventure with the utmost care, letting his imagination run free, but keeping his wits about him all the while. This magical journey gives us the wondrous sense that anything is possible.

This joyful story has delighted readers of all ages for over fifty years.


There are some classic children’s books that will invariably result in wistful exclamations of, ‘oh yes, I love that book!’ in bookish conversations with others. Harry and the Purple Crayon is always guaranteed to elicit such a response, from a variety of ages. The image of the little boy in blue footed pyjamas creating a world all his own (and solving its problems) with his magical crayon is instantly memorable, and the late, great Maurice Sendak called this picture book ‘a masterpiece’.

First published in 1955, Harold and the Purple Crayon remains perennially relevant and whimsical, perhaps more so in these strange times of lockdowns in our own homes, where imagination is more important than ever and the ability to draw one’s ideal world becomes a magical means of escape, for all of us. For ages 3+.

Tye Cattanach works as a bookseller at Readings Kids.

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