While not overtly Catholic, the theme of The Crayons: True to Color applies particularly to Christian children growing up in a world that is politically correct to a fault, a world that would silence the uncomfortable opinions and truths that form part of the Catholic identity. In the story, a second-grade girl receives a box with crayons of every color. Right away, a red crayon begins sharing what it is like to be red.
However, when he mentions things that only red crayons can do, the box and the other crayons become irritated and the box hushes him up. The red crayon joins up with the blue crayon for a journey of discovery, whereby the crayons learn how to be themselves and allow others to be true to who they are. Thus, the picture book explores two timely topics: freedom of speech and diversity.
Even in the academic bastions of our society today, intellectual exchanges are being silenced. As John Paul II said when he assumed the papacy, “Do not be afraid.” We need a generation of children unafraid to speak their individual minds. I write to those children.
The book is a project created by a sibling duo. John Folley, my little brother, created the pictures for the book. For several years, he taught at the Heights, a Catholic boys’ preparatory school in Washington, DC. Now, he is a full-time artist and illustrator in New Hampshire, where he lives with his wife and his -soon to be- three small children. His illustrations grace many books, including several from Sophia Institute Press.
I, the author, am the eldest of nine children and a mastered teacher of English for the secondary level. Currently, I live in the North Country of New York near my large extended family. My interests include travel, nature, art appreciation, and writing fiction for all ages.
The Crayons: True to Color is an engaging picture book that celebrates individual identity and invites children to understand what makes them unique. The story emphasizes the wonderful things that are possible when people who are different learn to work together. The book is best suited to children aged 3-10. Due to some challenging vocabulary, I recommend parents read the book to their children the first time through. Playful mixed media illustrations help the crayons almost roll off the page. The Crayons: True to Color is available on Amazon for $12 and would make a good gift for the special children in your life.
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Copyright 2016 Elizabeth Folley