THE CRAYON MAN: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons

illustrated by Steven Salerno


In 1903, a man’s innovative invention appeared in homes in a bright green box for only a nickel – the Crayola crayons. In a world where children are given crayons almost as soon as they are born, where the smell of crayons is more recognizable than coffee and peanut butter, what must it have been like to live at a time when crayons were a novelty? This is a story of the inspirational inventor Edwin Binney, the man who loved color and nature, who listened and created one of the world’s most enduring, best-loved childhood toys—empowering children around the world to imagine and draw ANYTHING!


View the trailer!

View the Read-Aloud

Listen to the Podcast Interview with Zibby Owens

Listen to the story behind the book on Nonfiction4Life's podcast


WINNER of the Irma Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature
Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Best STEM Book 2020

Best 2019 Picture Book Biography selection - Betsy Bird, Fuse # 8

Best 2019 Nonfiction Picture Books

Editors' Pick Best Nonfiction for kids and bestseller on


Winner Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award - LA

Winner Grand Canyon Reader Award for Non-Fiction, AZ
Shortlisted for The Morning Calm Medal
An Annual Book Award Selected by International School Students in Korea 

Great Texas Mosquito List and Student Choice Award, TX

Shortlisted for North Carolina Children's Book Award, NC

Shortlisted for Charter Oak, CT, Children's Book Award

Shortlisted for CFSID Horned Toad Tale Award, Houston, TX

Shortlisted for the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, MD
Shortlisted for the Louisiana Young Readers' Choice, LA

Honor Book, Beehive Award for Children's Informational Books, Utah

Shortlisted Birdville ISD Battle of the Books, TX

“A colorful addition to the shelves of picture books about inventors and inventions and all things STEAM” SLJ


“Readers are likely to be fascinated . . . Back matter is attention-grabbing… with photographs of crayon production today” — Publishers Weekly


"What were the odds that I’d go goofy over the biography of the guy who invented the Crayola crayon? . . . This Natascha Biebow lady KNOWS how to pen a really good picture book biography . . . And the Backmatter, oh the Backmatter! Gorgeous full-color photographs of the process (which gave me flashbacks to old Mr. Rogers episodes), a one-page author bio, and the MOST impressive Bibliography I’ve seen in any picture book this year" – Betsy Bird, SLJ Fuse # 8


“Biebow’s first nonfiction picture book flows with conversational smoothness ... The attractive full-page — and, accordingly, brightly colorful — illustrations mix realism and whimsy" — Booklist


The Irma Black voting kids said it:

"I love to draw . . . without crayons I couldn’t draw cats, trees and flowers and really anything in my imagination."


"It made me feel how much color there is around us". 

Where to buy: You can buy THE CRAYON MAN at any of the following locations (links open in a new page) or at a bookstore near you:


(ELEPHANTS NEVER FORGET), illustrated by Britta Teckentrup 

Every day, the rangers admired the funny elephants who played at the water hole. But one day, when Eleonora is shot by a poacher, something surprising happens. All the other elephants in the herd come to say goodbye. A moving story about death and remembrance.     



illustrated by Georgie Birkett

Winner of the Booktrust

Best Book for Babies


Can you touch your nose, nose, nose!
Yes, you can!

With fun, interactive language, flaps and a mirror at the back, this book is perfect for preschoolers discovering their bodies.