N4L 130: "The Crayon Man" by Natascha Biebow


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By Janet Perry, Janet Perry: blogger, and Nonfiction book lover. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


In her nonfiction children’s picture book, Natascha Biebow uncovers the little-known story of The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons. In addition to Steven Salerno's brilliant illustrations, Biebow's narrative includes "fact boxes" to embed extra information for the curious reader and inquiring adult.

More than a century ago, inventor Edwin Binney (also known as “The Crayon Man”), listened well to what people wanted. From all his listening emerged the invention of the crayon. Later, Binney’s schoolteacher wife coined the brand name “Crayola,” which has since become synonymous with “crayon.”

The Crayon Man was passionate about replicating the colors he saw in nature. Boasting 120 colors, the Crayola factory located in Easton, Pennsylvania, makes 12 million crayons every day. Labels printed in three different languages carry crayon names such as “Robin Egg’s Blue,” “Tickle Me Pink,” and “Tropical Rain Forest” as well as the most recent crayon color, “Bluetiful.” Paraffin wax and non-toxic pigments became game-changers for the crayons children still use today. Now ubiquitous, crayons are inexpensive, safe, durable, and endlessly creative toys for children and adults alike.


  • “The average child wears down 720 crayons by his tenth birthday, which is a lot of crayons!”
  • “Crayola is typically classed as one of the world’s most iconic toys, and it’s also one of the most recognized smells for adults.”
  • “Funny and bighearted, Edwin kept on listening and creating all his life; but of all his inventions, he loved the Crayola crayons most of all.”

BUY The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons


Take a virtual tour of the Crayola factory in Easton, Pennsylvania.

BUY Crayola Ultimate Crayon Collection Coloring Set, Gift Age 3+ - 152 Count

BUY Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils Coloring Set, Gift Age 3 + - 50 Count

BUY Crayola Silly Scents Scented Markers, Washable Markers, 12 Count, Gift for Kids, Assorted

BUY Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Markers, Broad Line, 12 Count

BUY Crayola Model Magic, Deluxe Craft Pack, Clay Alternative, Gift for Kids, 14 Single Pack

BUY Crayola Washable Kids Paint, 6 Assorted Colors, 2 Oz Each (Pack of 2) Total 12 Bottles + Bonus 8 Crayola Paint Brushes

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