My daughter is obsessed. As in, she seems to love, love, love reading (or hearing, I guess is more like it) Harold and the Purple Crayon. It is a really cute and magical book, I must admit.
If I let her, she’ll choose it as the book she wants me to read at bedtime pretty much every night. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. One night I cut it off at the pass as we were headed into her room after brushing teeth: “Elena, we’re not reading Harold and the Purple Crayon tonight.” Her: I want to read Harold and the Purple Crayon!” Me: “No, we read it every night…let’s read something else.” Her: Sniff, sniff. (As if I’d just banned her from seeing her best friend…) “Okay,” she said grabbing another book reluctantly – which, by the way, is usually My Truck is Stuck. Sigh.
But the next night, unless I put my foot down again, there we are, reading about Harold’s adventures under the moon when he should be home in bed. And BTW, what kind of message does that send anyway? A baby (or toddler at most!) off exploring the world on his own in the middle of the night – climbing mountains, taking boat rides, making NINE pies, constructing buildings – sheesh!
Of course, like most of Elena’s books, I originally bought it for Ian and he liked it, too. But we’re talking a regular “like.” As in, he picked it every now and then. Then again, he never became overly attached to any one book…he was more of a variety kinda guy. Because of that, it fascinates me that she is so into this book, though I know that’s not unusual for young children.
Still, as we read it tonight I wondered – as I’m able to do since there’s no need to focus since I can practically recite it by heart – what it is about it that she enjoys so much. Is it the illustrations? The story itself? That she thinks Harold looks like her? Maybe purple is her favorite color? Or, maybe she just likes the repetition/routine of it. I found myself wishing I could get in her brain and find out. Of course, that was only for about 30 seconds and after that I was on to my usual thought, which is scanning her room trying to figure out what to do with it decor-wise.
As tired as I am of Harold, I must admit that her admiration for this cute little book keeps me agreeing to read it to her most nights. Almost every time I turn the page, she makes this little chuckle sound that people make when they are intrigued by something you’ve said. Plus, I’m not going to lie: I kind of love the end because when we get to the part where Harold finally remembers where his room is….Elena points to the page with her finger, draws a window around the moon and finishes the sentence with me….”always wight awound the moon.”
If you have kids, do they – or did they – ever obsess about one book in particular?
Yes. Perry knew all of the “if you give a mouse a cookie” books and recited them before she could read but she was definitely more into variety. Phoenix loved “Where the wild Things Are.” I love Harold but completely agree that it gets old. It won’t last forever… One day you will look at that last page and wish she would trace that window again!
Well, who doesn’t love giving a pig a pancake? But yes, you are so right.