Harold's Trip to the Sky by Crockett Johnson
You probably are familiar with Harold and the Purple Crayon . We checked that one out this week too, but Juliet only let me read it to her once because she much preferred this one by the same author.
I was somewhat surprised because I thought maybe this would be a little out of her age-level and perhaps a little bit scary, but she loved it and we read it at least 2 times a day this week.
Harold and his trusty purple crayon get up in the night to get a drink a water. I love how the beginning sets the stage for the overall theme of the book (fear of the unknown),
"One night Harold got up, made sure there was a moon so he wouldn't see things in the dark, and went to get a drink of water. He wondered about the things people see in the dark, and where they came from. He was glad he couldn't see them in the moonlight."
He makes his way through a desert and eventually takes a rocket to the moon (because he remembered "how the government has fun on the desert. It shoots off rockets.)
Of course, it is dark in outerspace and he looks for a moon to light his way. He sees what looks like a moon, but is really a FLYING SAUCER. (This is Juliet's favorite part.)
When he sees the flying saucer it says, "Harold had heard about flying saucers. People saw them in the dark. And nobody knew who was inside, flying them."
He lands on a strange planet, which turns out to be Mars. Harold had heard of men on Mars, so he calls out to them. As he calls to them, "He thought of the flying saucer out there. He thought of the things people see in the dark. He felt a great need for company. "
He tries to draw a "man from mars", but it is dark and he cannot see it's face clearly. (This image is somewhat scary.) Suddenly, he does see it clearly. "It was the face of a thing. It was the face of a thing people see in the dark. And it was sitting in a flying saucer. Harold ran."
At this point, Harold realizes that maybe this thing is on its way to earth to scare a young child, so he bravely heads back and draws a "completely damaging crack" in the flying saucer. (Juliet also loves this part.)
I won't give details on the rest of the story, but he makes his way home and ends the book eating a nice bowl of hot oatmeal.
Like I said earlier, I really think this book is more suitable for an older child, but Juliet just loved it. She is now obsessed with flying saucers and drawing "damaging cracks" in them.
We have a little table with a chalkboard top that we used to reenact Harold's adventure.
"Look! A flying saucer!" (insert frightened gasp here)
One swipe of her trusty blue chalk stick and the world is safe once again!
Do you have a favorite Harold book?