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Harold and the Purple Crayon

Last updated Monday, August 4, 2008

Author: Crockett Johnson
Date of Publication: 1998
ISBN: 0060229357
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2008

Synopsis: From Amazon.com:

"One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." So begins this gentle story that shows just how far your imagination can take you. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement. But this is no hare-brained, impulsive flight of fantasy. Cherubic, round-headed Harold conducts his adventure with the utmost prudence, letting his imagination run free, but keeping his wits about him all the while. He takes the necessary purple-crayon precautions: drawing landmarks to ensure he won't get lost; sketching a boat when he finds himself in deep water; and creating a purple pie picnic when he feels the first pangs of hunger.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever seen Harold and the Purple Crayon on TV or in a movie? Do you like the shows? Have you ever read any of the Harold and the Purple Crayon books?
•  Do you like to draw?
•  What kinds of things do you like to draw?
•  Look at the cover of the book. What does it look like Harold is drawing?
•  What is your favorite color?
•  What do you like to eat at a picnic?
•  If you were at a picnic, what would you eat?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What kinds of things do you see when you go for a walk?
•  Why does the moon help Harold?
•  How did Harold meet the moose and the porcupine?
•  What do you see outside when you look out the window in your room/house?
•  If you had an adventure, where would you go and who would you meet?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw what you would see: If you took a walk like Harold did, where would you like to go? What would you see there? What types of plants and animals would you see?
•  Draw your adventure.
•  Take your favorite color and draw your window and what you see outside of your window.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!