Review: Red:A, A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Red is the story of a blue crayon that’s been mislabeled as “Red.” Whenever he tries to do something red (like draw an orange with Yellow, or color some strawberries) it comes out all wrong. He is miserable!  When Magenta comes around with a simple request, his whole world is turned upside down…or maybe, it’s just finally right side up!

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Goober/Ms. Rachel’s Class:
My class truly loved this book. It’s written in such a way that children are engaged and engrossed. Our “red” crayon keeps trying to draw things that are traditionally red, no matter how many times they tell me “It won’t work! He’s BLUE!” They were so relieved when another crayon FINALLY realized the problem, and offered a solution. Both Goober and my class were quick to pick up on how it would make them feel if they were Red, and found it easy to see themselves in the character.
5 out of 5, they loved it, and both Goober and My class request to read this book frequently.

Mama/Ms. Rachel:
I try my best to be conscious about the books and lessons I present to my class and my children, and Red: A Crayon’s Story really tops the charts for me. I do my best to encourage exploring gender identity and roles in my class and home, and provide my class and children with a safe place to explore being their true selves. Red: A Crayon’s Story is one more avenue to allow me to do this. This story allows an adult to have a genuine conversation about societal expectations, fitting in, and how it feels to truly be oneself. This book has many layers to the lessons it can assist, not the least of which begins a conversation about Trans+ individuals, and those who do not identify as a binary gender. The one thing I would comment on is that the dialogue of other crayons in the book is not always included in the cadence of the main page, so it may get choppy if your intention is to read straight through, rather than discuss as you go.
9 out of 10! Get it for your library soon!

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