by Aaron Becker; illus. by the author
Primary Candlewick 40 pp.
8/13 978-0-7636-6053-6 $15.99
In the tradition of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon (rev. 10/55), this wordless story shows a bored young girl living in a monochromatic world who is able to draw herself into other worlds with the help of a red crayon she finds on her bedroom floor. Unlike Harold, the worlds she enters into are lush and detailed — a deep green forest with blue hanging lanterns, an elaborate castle with an intricate canal system for transportation, a multilevel steampunk airship carrying ominous soldiers, and a walled city in the desert. There are dangers she avoids by drawing herself new forms of transportation, including a hot-air balloon and a magic carpet, and she gets pulled into a rescue mission involving a purple bird, which eventually leads her to a door in a palm tree that takes her back to her own world and to a boy with a purple crayon she had never even noticed outside her apartment building when the story began. He, it seems, had been searching for the purple bird. There is much to pore over in the watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations, and when the boy and girl ride off together at the end on a tandem bicycle with one red wheel and one purple wheel, readers will want to follow them.