The Day the Crayons Quit

By Drew Daywalt

Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Philomel Books, 2013


The Day the Crayons Quit is a rollicking story about the day a box of crayons that belong to a boy named Duncan that have just had enough of Duncan’s coloring choices! The story begins with Duncan taking out his box of crayons only to find a stack of letters. Each letter, written by a different colored crayon, tells of that crayon's woes, complaints, and demands.  The story concludes when Duncan figures out a way to make all his crayons happy.



About the Author

Drew Daywalt grew up in a haunted house; he now lives in a Southern California home, haunted by only his wife, two kids, and five-month-old German Shepherd. His favorite crayon is Black. In addition to being an author, he is well-known for being a filmmaker. The film rights to The Day the Crayons Quit have been purchased by Universal Studios, and the sequel, The Day the Crayons Came Home, will be released in October, 2015. 

About the Illustrator

Illustrator, author, and artist Oliver Jeffers was born in Australia but grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He graduated from The University of Ulster in 2001. Oliver Jeffers now resides and creates art in Brooklyn, New York. From figurative painting and installation to illustration and picture-book making, Jeffers work takes many forms. Oliver Jeffers’ picture books have been translated into over 30 languages. His favorite crayon color is Striped.

Related Links

Drew Daywalt’s Twitter feed, @DrewDaywalt

Oliver Jeffers’ World,

Oliver Jeffer’s website,

To see how crayons are made, view this YouTube video created by Sesame Street, 



DeRolf, Shane. The Crayon Box That Talked. Random House Books for Young Readers, 1997.

Hubbard, Patricia. My Crayons Talk. Square Fish, 1999.

Johnson, Crockett. Harold and the Purple Crayon. Tegen Other, 1981.

Rusch, Elizabeth. A Day with No Crayons. Cooper Square Publishing, 2007.

Letter Writing

Ada, Alma Flor. With Love, Little Red Hen. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004.

Ada, Alma Flor. Yours Truly, Goldilocks. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2001.

Ahlberg, Allan. The Jolly Postman or Other Peoples Letters. Viking, 2000.

Ahlberg, Allan. The Jolly Christmas Postman. Viking, 2014.

Cronin, Doreen. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2000.

Durant, Alan. Dear Santa Claus. Candlewick, 2005.

Harrison, Joanna. Dear Bear. Lerner Publishing Group, 1995.

James, Simon. Dear Mr. Blueberry. Aladdin, 1996.

Orloff, Karen Kaufman. I Wanna Iguana. G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2004.

Pomerantz, Charlotte. The Birthday Letters. HarperCollins Canada, 2000.

Spurr, Elizabeth. The Long, Long Letter. Hyperion, 1996.

Stewart, Sarah. The Gardener. Square Fish, 2007.

Teague, Mark. Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School. Scholastic, 2002.


Point of View

Celsi, Teresa. The Fourth Little Pig. Heineman Library, 1992.

Cherry, Lynne. The Great Kapok Tree. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000.

Hartman, Bob. Wolf Who Cried Boy. G.P. Putnam and Sons, 2002.

Rylant, Cynthia. The Great Gracie Chase: Stop That Dog. Scholastic, 2001.

Scieszka, Jon. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. Puffin Books, 1996.

Teague, Mark. Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School. Scholastic, 2002.

Van Allsburg, Chris. Two Bad Ants. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 1988.

Persuasive Writing

Base, Graeme. Uno’s Garden. Harry N. Abrams, 2006.

Blos, Joan W. Old Henry. 1990.

Child, Lauren. But, Excuse Me, That is my Book. Dial, 2005.

Child, Lauren. I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato. Candlewick, 2003.

Cleary, Beverly. Emily’ Runaway Imagination. 1990.

Gonzalez, Lucia M. The Storyteller’s Candle = La Velita de los Cuentos. 2013.

Grambling, Lois G. Can I Have a Stegosaurs, Mom? Can I? Please!? Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1998.

Hoose, Philip M. Hey, Little Ant. Tricycle Press, 1998.

Kellogg, Steven. Can I Keep Him? Puffin Books, 1992.

Krause, Ute. Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon. NorthSouth, 2010.

Munsch, Robert. Stephanie’s Ponytail. Annick Press, 1996.

Some Other Books by Oliver Jeffers

How to Catch a Star. HarperCollins, 2004.

Lost and Found. HarperCollins, 2006.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy. HarperCollins, 2006.

The Way Back Home. HarperCollins, 2008.

The Great Paper Caper. HarperCollins, 2009.

Up and Down. HarperCollins, 2011.

The Heart and the Bottle. HarperCollins, 2011.

This Moose Belongs to Me. HarperCollins, 2012.

Stuck. HarperCollins, 2012.

Once Upon an Alphabet. HarperCollins, 2014.



Letter Writing

After reading the story to the class, have students write back to one of the letters in the book. Have students talk about the feelings that the crayons are having and come up with ideas to help the crayons with their feelings. Have them explain to the crayon who it shouldn’t quit. Alternatively, have Duncan write a letter back to one of his crayons. You might also have students select their favorite color crayon and write a letter to that crayon explaining why they like the color.

Point of View Writing

Using the letters in the book as models, have students write from the point of view of an object that might "quit" and why.

Crossword Puzzle

Have students enjoy this crossword puzzle related to the book;

Preschool Activities

Use the story to teach preschoolers their colors. Alternatively, use the book to talk about feelings.


Crayon Research

Have students research the history of crayons and create a timeline of events. Alternatively, have students research the process of how crayons are made.

Melting Crayons Science Experiment

Do all crayons melt at the same speed, use this link to try the Melting Crayons Science Experiment,

Alternate Ending

After finishing the story, have students write an alternate ending that still satisfies the crayons.

Math Fun

Vist the Bedtime Math website for some fun math activities related to crayons,

Other Resources

Online resource for extension activities for parents, teachers, and community coordinators. The Day the Crayons Quit, A RIF Guide for Educators


A guide to LETTER WRITING for grades K–5 aligned to Common Core State Standards An Educator's Guide to the Day the Crayons Quit

A collection of lesson ideas, writing prompts, displays, and creative ways teachers are using the the book, The Day the Crayons Quit with students. The Day the Crayons Quit on Pinterest

2015-2016 California Young Reader Medal Resource Guide