The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons

Natascha Biebow, illus. by Steven Salerno. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-328-86684-4
It’s easy to take today’s ubiquitous colored crayons for granted, but they were the result of one individual’s innovation. Biebow introduces Edwin Binney—a mustachioed man and head of a carbon black factory—who wished to make color-pigmented wax crayons that reflected the world outside. Salerno’s illustrations reflect the formality of the era, which he playfully disrupts with splashes of color: in one spread, a line of pigment-spattered workers end a day of crayon experimentation. Readers are likely to be fascinated by the process of “grinding, grinding, grinding up rocks and minerals into fine powders” and the rich colors that result. Back matter is attention-grabbing as well, with photographs of crayon production today. Ages 6–9. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/03/2019
Release date: 03/01/2019
Genre: Children's
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