In Which Lara Lillibridge raves about RED: A CRAYON’S STORY

I am breaking with the interview format today because I am so completely nuts over RED by Michael Hall, a 40-page picture book about a blue crayon who is mistakenly given a red label at the factory. While it is a wonderful resource for trans and gender-queer kids and those who love them, I think it will resonate with anyone who has ever felt as if the world expects them to be someone they aren’t. It’s also a great book for people of any age who have trouble wrapping their minds aorund the idea of trans or nonbinary gender.

My nine-year-old is a nontraditional kid who doesn’t feel confined by a lot of societal norms about gender and identity. He has had a fair amount of social push-back for his insistence on following his own path. It makes both of us sad when this happens, but he has never used it as a reason to water down who he is. As his mother, I want him to be the best version of himself, whatever that looks like, but sometimes it scares me to trust my beautiful and unsual child to the world.

I heard about this book in a discussion group on Goodreads, and quickly bought it. I was excited to read RED to my son, but it turned out that he had already read it at school, and was excited to introduce me to it, instead of the other way around. He said it was his favorite book of all time. It is now one of my favorites as well. (And kudos to the teacher who bought this book for her classroom!)

It’s a short book filled with crayon illustrations. I’m not a huge fan of wordy book reviews, so to convey my enthusiam I decided to do a photshoot of RED: A CRAYON’S STORY in my living room, because I am inherently lazy and currently in the living room.

Here’s  a closeup of the cover:

And the inside flap:

I convinced my cat to read it. He found it riveting as well.

My dog was not nearly as impressed, but one must take into account the fact that he is completely blind and the book did not smell like bacon.

It even looks charming with my leopard couch pillows.

In sum, if you are looking for a present for anybody of any age, I highly recommend RED: A CRAYON’S STORY by Micheal Hall.


Official details:

Link to buy: Red: A Crayon’s Story

ISBN: 0062252097 (ISBN13: 9780062252098)

Literary Awards

Minnesota Book Award for Children’s Literature (2016), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Picture Books (2015)

40 pages

$18.89 US [hardcover]

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Lara Lillibridge sings off-beat and dances off-key. She writes a lot, and sometimes even likes how it turns out. Her memoir, Girlish, available for preorder on Amazon, is slated for release in February 2018 with Skyhorse Publishing. Lara Lillibridge is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. In 2016 she won Slippery Elm Literary Journal’s Prose Contest, and The American Literary Review's Contest in Nonfiction. She has had essays published in Pure Slush Vol. 11, Vandalia, and Polychrome Ink; on the web at Hippocampus, Crab Fat Magazine, Luna Luna, Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, and Airplane Reading, among others. Read her work at

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