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Harold and the Purple Crayon is an illustrated children’s book first published in 1955 by Crockett Johnson. The story follows Harold as he wanders around drawing his own reality with his purple crayon and trying to get home.
Harold is colored in with a blue jumpsuit and Caucasian skin. Everything else in the story is purple, since it was drawn with the crayon; this lets the reader see that Harold is somehow more real than everything else.
It has received several sequels, and also been adapted into a series of children's animated shorts.
The book is aimed at young children, ages 3 to 7, but it’s a good quick read for adults.
Harold and the Purple Crayon contains examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: a 13-episode HBO series narrated by Sharon Stone.
- Applied Phlebotinum: The crayon.
- Art Initiates Life
- Art Shift: Each episode of the HBO series had Book Ends set in Harold's bedroom, which looked more realistic than the rest of the backgrounds.
- Bald of Awesome
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Heroic Mime: Harold.
- In some episodes of the HBO series, Harold would get to deliver one line, but the narrator would still do most of the talking.
- The Homeward Journey
- Limited Animation: 3 classic shorts.
- Mental World: One possible explanation.
- Non Standard Character Design: Harold contrasts against the people he draws, who have little more than purple outlines.
- Present Tense Narrative
- Reality Warper