Red is supposed to be a red crayon: it says so right on his label. But every time he tries to draw something red (a strawberry, a stoplight, etc), it comes out looking, well, wrong. No one can figure out the trouble, especially Red, until one day a crayon asks him to color a blue sea. Red tries, and finds that he’s wonderful at it! In fact, he can color lots of blue things! Red and his friends and family realize that he was never bad at being a red crayon, he simply never realized what a fabulous blue crayon he could be.
This was a really great book about being different: Red’s struggle and eventual triumph with figuring himself out is so universally identifiable: not conforming to one’s appearance, finding one’s own inner talents, and accepting and supporting the differences of others (Red’s friends and family never question his realization that he is blue, they are simply pleased that he is happy). Obviously, this story has LGBTQ undertones as well, and it’s great at expressing that it’s okay to not be what people are expecting you to be, and that even if someone doesn’t fit the mold, they haven’t changed – rather, they have discovered who they always were inside.
Length-wise, it was wonderful for JJ, and she found the simple, bright illustrations highly entertaining. So all in all, Baby Bookworm approved!