Our Overall rating: 5
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Harold and the Purple Crayon

January 1, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

A classic comes to life without losing any of its original charm ...

The classic story of a little boy and his purple crayon comes to life in this book app in a way that enhances the original 1955 print title without losing any of its brilliance. Over 50 years later, this story still captures the creativity and imagination of childhood with simple line drawings and slowly paced text. As a digital offering, the story comes to life even more, giving a whole new generation of children the magical feeling that comes with anticipating what Harold will draw next.

This is a great example of how a digital book can elicit a certain nostalgia from adults while still 'wowing' the little ones. Enhanced with simple but elegant animations and the option of interactive reading, this title's digital transformation leaves the essential charm of the original print series intact. One of the most enchanting things about the picture book is the chance to re-live one's own childhood over again as a parent, so favorite picture books that are being reinvented as digital apps have a certain appeal that is hard to resist.

In "Read Alone" and "Read to Me" mode, the book is presented with only subtle enhancements, including light animation, nice background music and highlighting word-by-word with the narration. The real treat in this app is the "Touch Tale" mode, though, where the reader gets to help Harold draw everything in order to move the story forward. Extra interactive elements include stars that appear around Harold's little moon, a breeze that blows the illustrations into motion with the swipe of a finger and even a picnic of pies that you can feed to the porcupine & moose.

Overall this is a stunning translation from print to the iPad, featuring a solidly made app with flexible settings and educational enhancements, like images that name themselves when tapped. No print collection of children's books would be complete without Crockett Johnson's Harold series, nor will any future electronic library want to miss out on this new digital classic. Our highest recommendation!

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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Harold and the Purple Crayon

January 1, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

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Crockett Johnson

Trilogy Studios Inc.

Length (time):
10 - 12 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 2 - 6

English •

Length (pages):
60 Pages


Story Synopsis - Harold and the Purple Crayon

From Wikipedia: Harold and the Purple Crayon is a 1955 children's book by Crockett Johnson. Johnson's most popular book, it led to a series of books, and inspired many adaptations. The protagonist, Harold, is a curious four-year-old boy who, with his purple crayon, has the power to create a world of his own simply by drawing it. Harold wants to go for a walk in the moonlight, but there is no moon, so he draws one. He has nowhere to walk, so he draws a path. He has many adventures looking for his room, he draws his own house and bed and starts going to sleep.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Read to Me, Read Myself, Tutorial, Touch Tale (Interactive Mode), Links to: AppStore

App Release Date:


Size: 52.75 MB

Version: 1.4

Lite Version Available: Yes



Harold and the Purple Crayon

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Lite - Free - Harold and the Purple Crayon Lite

If you haven’t yet tried Harold and the Purple Crayon, now is your chance! In this special Lite version you can experience select chapters from the most interactive book to date and see for yoursel...

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