Harold and the Purple Crayon (Crockett Johnson, Harper Collins Publishers, 1955)
This is a gem of a picture book! My daughters and I were surprised and delighted by young Harold, who makes his own adventures by drawing them (of course). Particularly humorous is when Harold backs away from a frightening dragon, his crayon shaking in his hand behind him and creating, unbeknownst to him, a wavy ocean. Before Harold realises it, he is in over his head! But since he managed to hold onto his purple crayon, Harold saves himself by drawing a boat. In the final pages, the play on words is irresistible – Harold draws up his covers, drops the purple crayon on the floor, then drops off to sleep. Don’t let the publication date deter you – the fact that this picture book inspired a book series and adaptations for stage, television and beyond, should be enough to convince you to seek it out.