Jarold Etch-a-Sketch

Happy Birthday, Harold!

Birthdays & Anniversaries Books
Harold Etch-a-Sketch
My birthday tribute to Harold and his purple crayon. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

You’re probably familiar with a little boy named Harold who had a particular talent with a big purple crayon. Well, Crockett Johnson’s classic tale of imagination and exploration is now 60 years old!

Harold and the Purple Crayon was always one of my favorites as a kid, and I still have a copy of the Purple Crayon Treasury on my shelf. I loved the way Johnson used simple lines to express so much, the way he would turn a drawing into something else on the next page, and the little puns tucked into the text (“he drew up the covers”).

To celebrate the birthday, HarperCollins enlisted several children’s book authors to illustrate birthday cards for Harold, like Eric Carle and Sandra Boynton and Tony DiTerlizzi. You can see their illustrations here, and you can also download activity sheets to make your own birthday drawings.

Happy Birthday, Harold!

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