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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!


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

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

Thanks also to Simon & Schuster for permission to do the following cover-to-cover read-aloud of Gurple & Preen (online until the end of September, see current online reading guidelines for more info):


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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