Age Group: Preschoolers
Episode Runtime: Approx. 30 minutes
Network: HBO Family
Harold and the Purple Crayon - Overview
Based on the classic children's picture book by Crockett Johnson, each episode of Harold and the Purple Crayon finds four-year-old Harold ready to go to bed for the night. As he drifts off to sleep, Harold thinks about many things. His thoughts, questions and feelings soon turn into an adventure, as Harold's purple crayon gives life to his vivid imagination.
Harold becomes a part of the new world he creates with his crayon, and his new reality has problems and challenges just like the real world. Thankfully, Harold always has his purple crayon. So, with some creative thinking and careful illustrating, Harold can draw a solution for any dilemma.
When it is time for his nightly story to end, Harold draws his own bedroom window around the moon and draws himself into bed. Finally, tired from his big adventure, Harold falls asleep, and his purple crayon drops to the floor.
Harold's uniquely colorful adventures are narrated by Sharon Stone and feature music by Van Dyke Parks. Each of Harold's journeys revolves around a theme that is pertinent to preschoolers, such as curiosity about nature, independence, fears, or exploration. Harold demonstrates creative problem solving and thinking skills as he works through different questions or situations, and the narration thoughtfully explains Harold's actions and feelings, helping viewing children to understand different emotions in the context of actual situations.
Harold and the Purple Crayon - Guide Review
Harold and the Purple Crayon is not the loud, high-action, production that characterizes much of today's preschool fare. Quiet and subtle, the show captures the creative charm of the original book and presents 13 new adventures for Harold, consisting only of thoughtful narration, a few remarks from Harold, and the simple works of dynamic art he creates.
The writing speaks specifically to children on their level. Children identify with Harold and are captivated by both the storytelling and the animation. In fact, the simple animation and descriptive narration are very similar to the show Caillou, which is also well-loved by children of this age group for the comforting tone of the narrator and the simple yet pertinent stories. Even the main characters are similar - both Harold and Caillou are four-year-old little boys who are basically bald.
In addition to being enjoyable for kids, Harold and the Purple Crayon fosters creative problem solving and thinking skills. Because of the softer tone and bedtime theme, it is also a good show to put on for those nights when kids are having a hard time winding down for bed.
Harold and the Purple Crayon - Expand Upon the Curriculum
- Help kids work through a problem or question by drawing a solution. Or, tell kids a story and have them draw what they think should come next.
- Make a book and help kids write and illustrate their own story.