I was an ‘80s kid with an ‘80s playroom, which housed everything from cabbage patch dolls and Rainbow Brite to Barbie. I loved my toys; the more, the merrier. That’s the way my children feel about their toys today, while I wonder, hypocritically, “Where are we going to keep all these games and stuffed animals? Is it too much stuff?”
Today, my youngest daughter turns two-years-old, just old enough to appreciate what’s inside the gift box more than the wrapping paper around it. Before she receives her new toys and books, we’re starting the day with an old favorite, Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon, which has charmed readers for almost 60 years.
Harold is a little boy who serves as a good example of what’s possible with nothing more than a keen imagination and a crayon. Harold’s leisurely walk in the moonlight turns into a harrowing adventure, as his imagination and his purple crayon get him into and then out of trouble. It’s such a clever book, and I assume it’s the inspiration for a more recent book my youngest also enjoys, Barney Saltzberg’s Andrew Drew and Drew, in which a “doodle boy” named Andrew “never knew what would happen” when he “drew and drew.”
There’s so much pressure in today’s world of 24-7 advertisements to buy the latest toys for our children, when really, a simple crayon and a piece of paper might do the trick — at least until the little ones learn the joys of the ArtRage app on the iPad.*
*As my daughter has; that’s her artwork above.