I love this book! One one level, it is a cute story about a mislabeled crayon discovering his talents, but it can also contain a very deep message about accepting people’s differences.
Labeled as “Red”, the poor crayon is never able to meet the standards set by those around him. They want him to try harder and apply himself, and they even state that they don’t think he’s very bright. For children with learning differences, these are probably many of the same things they have heard or felt until someone identifies their difference in learning. The crayon, like many students, has been mislabeled and only feels confident when someone recognizes his strengths outside of his label.
Another important message that can be taught with this story is about judging people by how they look on the outside versus getting to know who they are inside. Very deep, but important message! Reading this book to a class could also open up an activity where students identify their own strengths and talents.
This would make an excellent read aloud for all grades. Young students will enjoy the fun of basic story and the engaging illustrations, and older students can discuss the deeper meanings.