Making the Grades
"It was Harold's bedtime," explains the voice of narrator Sharon Stone at the beginning of each episode of the TV show, Harold and the Purple Crayon. Based on a popular children's book by Crockett Johnson, Harold's adventures begin after the goodnight tuck-in, while he waits in vain to fall asleep. Amusing himself by peering through his bedroom window, myriads of questions cross his curious mind. When he can no longer contain them, the precocious preschooler crawls out of bed, takes his purple crayon and begins to draw upon his imagination.
Entering a world of simple illustrations (all outlined in purple of course), the bald baby sets off to discover the mysteries of life, like where rain comes from, or how it feels to be a lady bug, an elephant, and a giraffe, or what the world was like in the age of dinosaurs.
In his travels he meets with moments of mild peril, such as a rushing river or a scary monster. But thanks to his quick draw with that magic purple crayon, Harold's imagination finds clever and creative solutions.
Families should feel quite safe with their own youngsters spending time with the tenacious toddler. While most of his quests are merely amusing, some venture into educational territory, for example Future Clock that explores career choices and Harold the Artiste that examines various art styles.
A segment parents will want to watch with their children is the one entitled I Remember Goldie. Here the scriptwriters broach the subject of death as Harold tries to understand what has happened to pet goldfish. Although the answers given focus on the natural circle of life with a brief allusion to evolution, moms and dads may want to take this opportunity to expound their personal philosophy on such a sensitive subject.
The only down side to having all thirteen episodes of this Emmy Award winning program compiled onto two DVDs, may come from watching them back-to-back. Especially for older viewers, this repetition could have them feeling too much like the concluding words of each program: "Harold's purple crayon (remote control) dropped to the floor, and Harold (and you) dropped off to sleep."
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Harold and the Purple Crayon.
What kind of things do you do or think about to help you fall asleep? If reading is part of your bedtime routine, you may want to take a look at your local library for the storybook the TV is adapted from.