I went to Melbourne last weekend, and in one of its many bookshops I discovered a reissued publication of a Diana Wynne Jones book I hadn’t read, so the last week I have been sucked into a Diana Wynne Jones reading frenzy. This is not hard to do (it happens at least once a year), since she is probably my favourite author. I don’t like to say definitely my favourite author, as there are just too many amazing books out there to choose from.
While in this same bookshop mentioned above (Hill of Content in Bourke St, for those of you playing in Melbourne) I discovered a copy of the delightful, enchanting, hilarious Harold and the Purple Crayon. One of the books on the 1001 Children’s Books list, I had never encountered it in real life.
I was totally in love with it, and it was only that I already had a (quite large) pile of books in my hands that stopped me from purchasing it. I am not entirely sure that I won’t purchase it sometime in the near future.
Such a simple concept – a black and white boy drawing with a purple crayon – but such an imaginative and diverse concept. I loved Harold drawing himself nine different types of pie when he was hungry, and eating slices of each, and drawing a monster to guard his apple tree, a monster so terrifying it scared Harold himself, and him drawing hundreds of windows trying to find his own… Oh, the whole thing was so delicious.
You need to find a copy and read it now.
This is an absolute classic! Harold Underdown has even named his blog (which is a font of info about children’s publishing in the USA) after this book. (http://www.underdown.org/)