What an odd and surprising little children’s book this is.
On the surface this is not the usual classroom friendly book with a moral or an underlying lesson. We have a main character with a bit of an edge and a narrative that breaks the fourth wall by including the author as he is writing the book. Which is all a little odd. However, this isn’t a complete exception in children’s picture books as titles like ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ subvert the usual norm of a lovable lead character and the regular form of story writing as well.
I think the lesson children can take from this book is to just love reading. This is a book made to be read for fun and one which lends itself to further reading too. The Puffin finds a box of magic crayons and uses them to create a door to another world as is seen in ‘Journey’ by Aaron Becker (a beautifully illustrated book I would urge you to check out!), and his use of living crayons naturally allows fora link to be drawn to books by Drew Daywalt. For any grown up s reading this book with children there is also the fact that the puffin is sat reading ‘So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish’ by Douglas Adams, a nice subtle bit of humour to add to a book which is already funny for children.
As far as the text is concerned, the story arc is very unusual but could be used as a writing prompt to celebrate creativity and possibly to encourage children to write themselves into their own story. There is also some rhyme throughout which can be a handy tool for teaching. It isn’t the greatest or most powerful children’s story you’ll ever read, but it’s fun, and sometimes that’s all a book needs to be.
Overall, I liked this book mainly for the fact that it is just a fun read for children that is perfect for helping to encourage further reading. That can only be a good thing.