“Use all the Crayons!” by Chris Rodell is a fun read about being happy no matter what your circumstances. Rodell’s premise is that colorful people have all the fun and are typically happy. Happy people aren’t necessarily colorful. Similar to those emailed lists that get passed around online, it is a longer version containing 501 funny or interesting things to do. Examples are using novelty party lights—tropical fish, for instance instead of normal Christmas lights; inventing a unique sandwich or ice cream sundae; or figuring out what your phone number spells and giving that as your phone number (such as 1-800-BEEHIVE). Doing many of these things may get you branded as weird, but you could just have fun doing it. And people who laugh live longer!
“Use all the Crayons” is, of course, an analogy of a box of Crayolas. Rodell tells that when the Crayola company started, they had shades of black and gray only! Now there are many colors we never dreamed of in our days of choosing a favorite (periwinkle) and wondering what was the difference between green-blue and blue-green. Who made up these colors anyway? It doesn’t really matter, but whoever they were they made magic for kids everywhere. And all those colors are a reminder to look at life in a new way every day. Even if your job is on the line, or you receive a spot of bad news one day, you can always choose a different color to write your emails in or grow your tomatoes upside down.
Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers Favorite.