Reading STEMs Learning: The Crayon Man

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“The Crayon Man” is a true story about Edwin Binney’s invention of Crayola Crayons. Mr. Binney had a love for the world of color and specifically admired natures vibrant colors. The crayons available before Crayola Crayons were made from materials that broke easily and were made in only 3 colors: black, grey and white. This book beautifully depicts Edwin’s experimentation journey to create the top secret formula for what would eventually become a wax crayon named Crayola.

About the Author / Illustrator:

This book is written by Natascha Biebow. Natascha grew up reading, loving books, and writing. She eventually became a children’s writer and editor. Her inspiration to write this book came when she was watching an episode of Sesame Street with her young son and they saw a video of Crayola crayons. It reminded her of the joy of using crayons as a child. She wondered what the story was behind the creation and she set out to explore and tell the story. She currently resides in England.

This book was beautifully illustrated by Steven Salerno. He is an illustrator and children’s book author based in New York City (NYC). He is an honors graduate from the Illustration Department at Parsons School of Design in NYC where he studied under many industry professionals including famed author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak, creator of Where the Wild Things Are.

What we LOVED about this Book:

  • The illustrations in this book are absolutely stunning and just as beautiful as the rainbow of color found inside a box of Crayola Crayons! (Check out the images of some of the pages below!)
  • The book includes several educational chemistry facts on waxes, pigments, clays and minerals that were so fun to read and learn with the kids.
  • This book proves trial and error and perseverance can develop something truly stunning and beautiful. Mr. Binney’s dedication to create all the colorful crayons that we have today is truly inspiring!
  • The historical elements in the book transport readers back to the time period when the crayon was being developed.
  • At the end of the book there are photos and descriptions of the actual Crayola crayon manufacturing process today as well as real life images of Mr. Binney himself. We found both of these to be extremely educational and fun for the children.

We’ve added this book to our own home library. It is a book that my children pick up to read again and again! I hope that you are inspired to check out this book as well!

I’ll be sharing some fun STEM activities to do at home with your own crayola products soon! Stay tuned!


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