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Gurple and Preen: A Broken Crayon Cosmic Adventure

This wildly imaginative, crayon-inspired picture book shows that with a bit of teamwork and a universe of creativity, anything is possible!

Buzz! Zap! CRASH! Gurple and Preen are in a big mess! When they crash-land onto an unfamiliar planet with nothing but boxes of crayons, they must work together to get the mission back on course.

From Newbery Award–winning author Linda Sue Park and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi comes a story about all the best things that can come out of a box of crayons.

Author: Linda Sue Park
Illustrator: Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
For ages: 3-8 | Aug/2020
Hardcover, 40 pages
ISBN-10: 1534431411 ~ ISBN-13: 978-1534431416

Images & Videos

Did you know that Linda Sue Park was first inspired to write Gurple & Preen after seeing Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s broken crayon art?
Here’s the story behind the book. Browse Debbie’s Broken Crayon Art Gallery. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for free, print-ready activity sheets, and also visit Debbie’s Broken Crayon Resource with more ideas and activities for educators!

Author Linda Sue Park reads Gurple and Preen aloud for Read & Learn with Simon Kids:

Thanks to Simon Kids for inviting me to participate in their Read & Learn series on YouTube! Learn how to draw Gurple from Gurple & Preen:

Press & Honors

“Seemingly insurmountable problems are defeated one step at a time…the lively cartoon art, featuring digitally collaged crayons, is consistently bright, colorful, and funny.”– Kirkus

“Park’s homage to creativity underscores how handy unlikely items can be; Preen ties the tablecloth to gather the crayons, which the quails then ferry to the ship, for example. Ohi’s brightly hued digital illustrations combine hyperrealistic crayons (resembling photographs) with less vibrant cartoon art that seems to be drawn with crayons. A clever nod to imagination and ingenuity.” – Booklist

“The last page brings us down to earth, as the ‘commander’ is revealed to be a little girl in her bedroom, surrounded by robot toys, crayons, and space-and-science paraphernalia-gazing out her bedroom window at the night sky. In the category of they-were-toys-all-along picture books, this one stands out, as the child’s imagined scenarios-and Park’s and Ohi’s storytelling-are particularly creative and freewheeling. The dialogue, especially Gurple’s interjections (“Zap my apps!” “Bits and bytes!”), is bright and witty, as are the digital crayon-box illustrations with lots of dimension and plenty to look at-and starring an endearing android odd-couple pair.”The Horn Book

“Gurple and Preen answers the question – What can you do with a broken crayon? You can not only create imaginative artwork but you also can also tell a captivating story. What I love about the story: it teaches kids valuable skills such as resourcefulness, creativity, and problem solving.” Beagles and Books

Print-Ready Goodies

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