[[caption-width-right:262:Long before LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya...]]
''Harold and the Purple Crayon'' is an illustrated childrenís book first published in 1955 by [[EmbarrassingFirstName Crockett]] Johnson. The story follows Harold as he wanders around [[RealityWarper drawing his own reality]] with his purple crayon and [[TheHomewardJourney trying to get home]].
Harold is colored in with a blue jumpsuit and Caucasian skin. Everything else in the story is purple, since it was [[ArtInitiatesLife drawn with the crayon]]; this lets the reader see that Harold is somehow more real than everything else.
It has received several sequels, and also been adapted into [[AnimatedAdaptation a series of children's animated shorts.]] The series is completely available on DVD, so no need to hunt hard for it.
The book is aimed at young children, ages 3 to 7, but itís a good quick read for adults.
!!This book provides examples of:
* AdaptationExpansion: The 13-episode HBO series narrated by Sharon Stone.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: The crayon.
* ArtShift: Each episode of the HBO series had BookEnds set in Harold's bedroom, which looked more realistic than the rest of the backgrounds.
* BigFriendlyDog: Lilac in the Animated Series.
* TheFaceless: Harold's mom in the animated series. The audiences only ever got to see her hands.
* FaceOfAThug: The dragon who guards the apple tree has a menacing appearance that frightens Harold and his friends, but he later turns out to be a GentleGiant.
* HeroicMime: Harold. In some episodes of the HBO series, Harold would get to deliver one line, but the narrator would still do most of the talking.
* LimitedAnimation: 3 classic shorts.
* MentalWorld: One possible explanation in the books. Played straight in the TV series.
* NonstandardCharacterDesign: Harold contrasts against the people he draws, who have little more than purple outlines.
* ShortRunner: The animated TV series on HBO Family only lasted 13 episodes.
* StockDinosaurs: Played straight and subverted in the episode "Blast From the Past". We have a titanosaur as the main large sauropod Harold searches for, a ''Pteranodon'' mother and her baby who accompanies Harold, a ''Triceratops'' who serves as the only "mean" dinosaur, and a herd consisting of ''Stegosaurus'', ''Parasaurolophus'', ''Centrosaurus'', ''Ouranosaurus'' (or maybe ''Edaphosaurus''), a generic smaller sauropod (possibly ''Camarasaurus''), and a prosauropod. Surprisingly, ''TyrannosaurusRex'' only appears as a couple cameos.
* WeirdMoon: Always accompanies Harold in his adventures.