Harry the Dirty Dog
Off the Shelf Shop: A Day with No Crayons

A Day with No Crayons

By Elizabeth Rusch

illustrated by Chad Cameron

 Hello friends!

I will go ahead and admit that I have been in an unexplainable bad mood. As I sat down to write this nothing came to mind and I felt myself getting even crankier. After I huffed and puffed around for awhile I had one of those life-mirrors-book experiences after I sent myself outside for a bike ride. This cleared my head, gave me a new way of looking at things and unlocked my creativity.

It was only when I sat down to write yet again that I realized this exactly what happened to Liza in A Day With No Crayons. She is forced to look at things in a new way when her crayons are taken away and she discovers a whole new world outside of the crayon box. For all the benefits that reading these books has for children, there are great reminders for adults as well! Although it seems like a cliché, its amazing what a change in perspective can do! 

In This Issue


A Veggie Painting + Rainbow Slaw

With this combination art activity and recipe, it's okay to play with your food! After you shred all the vegetables, young readers can use the different colors to make pictures on a plate or serving dish. Then, like mixing all the paint colors together at the end of a painting session, stir together the vegetables to make a colorful slaw and top with a creamy dressing!

A Veggie Painting + Rainbow Slaw - A Day with No Crayons - Off the Shelf

  A Veggie Painting + Rainbow Slaw - A Day with No Crayons - Off the Shelf

  A Veggie Painting + Rainbow Slaw - A Day with No Crayons - Off the Shelf


Veggie Painting

Ingredients (see below for specific measurements)

  • shredded red bell pepper
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped pineapple
  • shredded broccoli 
  • shredded red or purple cabbage
  1. Set out vegetables and fruit in individual bowls. Provide a young reader with a "canvas"; we used a large shallow baking dish. Let the creating begin! Encourage your young reader to create a masterpiece using the foods as the medium. 

Rainbow Slaw

Dressing recipe from Super Healthy Kids.


  • 1 red bell pepper, shredded
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 3/4 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1/2 head red or purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  1.  In a large bowl, mix together vegetables and fruit. In a small bowl or jar, mix together the yogurt, mayo, honey, and vinegar. Pour over slaw and toss to combine.
A Veggie Painting + Rainbow Slaw - A Day with No Crayons - Off the Shelf



Nature's Crayons

Taking a cure from Liza, go on a nature walk and collect a variety flowers and leaves and see which ones will make brilliant colors on paper. Young readers will have fun guessing which will leave bold color, a little color, or no color at all. Plus, certain plants will leave scent!

Nature's Crayons - A Day with No Crayons - Off the Shelf

Nature's Crayons


  • Watercolor paper
  • Container for gathering flowers and leaves
  1. Gather flowers and leaves. 
  2. Lay paper on a flat surface. Experiment with rubbing the collected materials on the paper. 

Extra Fun

Homemade Coloring Page

After discovering which items leave color, your young reader could draw a simple picture with crayon or marker and then use the flowers and leaves to color it in! 

What's Its Name?

What crazy names can your young reader give to the colors you have just discovered? Cherry Pie Red? Great Grasshopper Green? 


More Art from Off the Shelf

One Year Ago: Peter Rabbit is back in The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit with the help of author Emma Thompson. This time he finds himself in Scotland in the company of a giant radish!

Two Years Ago: Sweet Westie McDuff has competition with the arrival of a new baby in McDuff and the Baby. Try the delicious Vanilla Rice Pudding recipe!


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