Creepy Crayon! By Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown

Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Summary:  Jasper Rabbit of Creepy Carrots and Creepy Pair of Underwear fame is back with a new reason to be scared: a purple crayon that seems to have all the answers.  Jasper’s been struggling with school (he’s failing all his subjects except art) but he discovers that when he writes his assignments with his new crayon friend, he gets straight A’s.  Jasper seems to feel like he’s losing his identity when his work is not his own and decides the crayon must be destroyed.  That’s not as easy as it looks, as the crayon turns out to have the ability to regenerate itself after being broken, melted, and thrown into the trash.  Flushing it down the toilet winds up being the most effective solution, and Jasper can enjoy whatever grades he gets, knowing that they’re the result of his own efforts.  (Creepy epilogue: the crayon travels through the sewer system and washes up on a beach where it’s discovered by Elliot Pelican.)  48 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  Jasper’s many fans will welcome him back (and enjoy glimpses from the other two books) just in time for the spooky fall season.  With literal bathroom humor and just the right touches of creepiness, this is sure to be another hit with young readers.

Cons:  I wasn’t so clear on what made the crayon creepy. Wouldn’t most kids like having a crayon that gave them all the right answers?

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