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Edwin Binney, a new to me inventor, created something I have used often, even as an adult. Edwin Binney was known as The Crayon Man. This is the story of how the crayon came into being. Come along for this colourful ride!
What I am Reviewing
The Crayon Man: the True story of the invention of Crayola Crayons.
Steven Salerno (illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
48 pages, ages 6-9, jacketed Hardcover
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.
Picture book, Elementary, Biography
Crayola, Crayons, colouring, Art, Inventors
What child doesn’t love to hold a crayon in their hands? But children didn’t always have such magical boxes of crayons. Before Edwin Binney set out to change things, children couldn’t really even draw in color.
Here’s the true story of an inventor who so loved nature’s vibrant colors that he found a way to bring the outside world to children – in a bright green box for only a nickel! With experimentation, and a special knack for listening, Edwin Binney and his dynamic team at Crayola created one of the world’s most enduring, best-loved childhood toys – empowering children to dream in COLOR!
The Crayon Man is well illustrated by Steven Salerno, where he shows the brightness of the crayons that Edwin Binney created. I have to admit, that I’ve never thought a whole lot about the founder of the crayon. Therefore I found it very interesting to think about the colours made. I noted the difficulty he had making them safe for children. Not an easy job for him.
From the eyes of a man who worked a rather dreary job came colour! This man loved colour and wanted children to be able to easily use it came the crayon that we love today. It wasn’t the first thing he invented (you’ll have to read the book to discover what else) but it is the one we remember the most.
I just loved the colours that dotted the pages, my pictures of the book don’t show the brightness of the hues.
If you are at all curious about how crayons came to be, The Crayon Man is just the book you need. Answer the questions of your children, stimulate them to think about the origins of something they use everyday, and encourage them to think of something THEY could create. I
The Crayon Man is a lovely meaty picture book that speaks to the determination of a man to make a useful product for children. We see the help he needed from others along the way, and how the encouragement of his wife was a boon to him.