Harold and the Purple Crayon

Picture Book

Bibliographic Information: Johnson, Crockett. Harold and the Purple Crayon. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1955.

Plot Description:
Harold is a young boy with a special purple crayon that creates whatever he draws. Harold draws a moonlight walk, an apple tree and its guardian dragon, an ocean and a boat, a beach picnic with pie, a friendly moose and porcupine, a mountain and a flying balloon, a city full of buildings and a policeman, and his own room to sleep in.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 490; Accelerated Reader: 3.0

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book is written in third-person, focusing on the adventure Harold draws with his crayon. It teaches the reader that they are only limited by their imagination.

Content Area: English, Adventure

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text; #3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges; #5 Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action; #7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #7 Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text; #8 Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words both in isolation and in text; #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a fun picture book to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to kindergarten through 3rd grade. It explores themes like adventure and imagination.

Special Note: This was my dad’s favorite book in his childhood, and it holds a special place in our hearts.


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