Art and Storytelling

Does the name Don Freeman sound familiar? If you saw his signature on the cover of a book, like I did when my daughter handed me the small book The Chalk Box Story, you might immediately connect his name to the cover of the famous children’s book Corduroy. He is, indeed, the author/illustrator of both those books and many more.

The Chalk Box Story is interesting because the colors of a chalk box are personified and decide to work together to make a picture. But when the picture doesn’t turn out the way they expect it to, the colors all wonder if a happy ending is still possible.

My preschooler has “read” this book aloud to herself over and over again. She loves the fact that the colors talk and the picture evolves a bit more with each crayon’s addition. She also really enjoys the ending, but I will leave that for you to discover for yourself when you read The Chalk Box Story.

Best Ages: pre-k – 1st grade

For Parents:

  • Check out the interactive storybook version of The Chalk Box Story available through iTunes.
  • Ask your child: Did you expect the story to end the way it did? How would you choose to end the story?

For Teachers:

  • Prior to reading The Chalk Box Story, give students time to draw pictures of their own on blank white paper. When everyone is finished, hold up large pieces of construction paper of the following colors: red, green, yellow, purple, brown, white, blue and black. One color at a time, ask students if they used that given color in their picture. What did they use it for? (Example: blue for water, an umbrella, shoes/brown for a tree trunk, a house, someone’s hair.)
  • Compare what your students used each color to create with that which the colors in the book chose to draw.
  • Place large butcher-block paper down on tables. Set out coloring supplies for students to create a picture with their peers. Display the group artwork!


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