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Bartholemew Williamson
Author, Illustrator
Kraylos
Kraylos-Yellow Finds His Purpose is a whimsical story about a crayon that has lost his way in the world. Through the help of friends and self-reflection, Yellow comes to understand his purpose and place in the world, in the process finding the joy he sees in those around him. Every page features hand-drawn colored pencil art, telling a story about purpose and hope.
Reviews
Williamson paints a magical world named Kraylos in this fanciful debut. Yellow, a crayon, feels immune to the magic around him as he faces age-old existential questions: "What’s my purpose? Why am I made this way?” With direction from his fellow Kraylos citizens, Yellow journeys through a wild world and tries to discover his place in it, asking why he’s yellow in the first place–or whether other colors feel uncertain about themselves, too. Yellow learns that a mythical creature, Detail Dragon, could grant Yellow’s wish for answers. After he is exposed to what the world would be like without his singularity, Yellow understands that all creatures are important, and that his purpose is to just be himself.

Readers will immediately grasp the story’s moral when Yellow learns what his environment would look like without his vital shade. Faced with a bleached-out world, Yellow “is struck speechless at what he sees around” and quickly regrets his wish for a yellow-less Kraylos. Beyond the moral of self-acceptance, which echoes Dickens, classic fairy tales, and It’s a Wonderful Life, Williamson sneaks in lessons on the color spectrum that illuminates how urgently a well-balanced, harmonious world needs Yellow to shine.

Young readers who enjoy rhyming schemes, fantasy, and silliness will find the whimsical and picturesque world of Kraylos enchanting. Some images may seem frenzied, but their intricate details and heightened activity will deliver hours of enjoyment for fans who revel in games like “I Spy,”, and Williamson’s hand-drawn illustrations, crafted with colored pencils, express and inspire intense creativity. Readers who are beginning to explore their value and place in existence will find the story resonant, and Williamson’s pick-me-up messages, painted in the sky (“develop your talent and you will find happiness within yourself”), offer hope and inspiration. The author’s biography sheds touching light on his own search for meaning.

Takeaway: A whimsical fantasy of crayons and colors that teaches the importance of self-acceptance.

Great for fans of: Patty Lovell’s Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, Dan Bar-el’s Not Your Typical Dragon.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: A
Editing: B+
Marketing copy: A

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