Tuesday, May 21, 2019

THE CRAYON MAN: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons by Natascha Biebow. Illus. by Steven Salerno.  New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019. 32p.  ISBN 978-1328866844 hc. $17.99.   Gr. K-3    JUV NF 741.2

What do you do if you love, love, love bright colors, even though you work in a factory that makes black ink, black dye, and black shoe polish?  Edward Binney teamed up with his cousin, C. Harold Smith, and formed a new company that produced white chalk, gray slate pencil, and black crayon.  Binney's next challenge was to brighten his world by improving on brittle European crayons with the addition of paraffin wax and bright colors.  The company experimented with pigments and minerals to make new colors and shades of colors found in nature.  Eventually, the formulas were just right; and crayolas were packaged into boxes of eight.  Binney & Smith Crayolas won a gold medal for inventions at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.  Over the years, the colors have multiplied into boxes of 24, 48, and 120, but the product has maintained it's quality and appeal to children.  Find more factual information about the Crayon Man in the back of the book.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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