In the most adorable birthday party on record, classic children's book characters are wishing Harold a happy birthday for picture book Harold and the Purple Crayon 's 60th anniversary. Author and illustrator Crockett Johnson and his little creation Harold have inspired kids and adults alike to follow their imagination for six decades. To show their appreciation, 15 notable children's book authors and illustrators have created original illustrations of their characters in their signature style celebrating Harold's milestone.
I now know exactly what I would like for my next birthday.
Johnson wrote and illustrated seven Harold books since 1955, when Harold and the Purple Crayon was released and we fell in love with the little boy's nighttime adventure through cities and landscapes using only his single purple crayon. HarperCollins will celebrate Harold's "birthday" by releasing all of Crockett's Harold books in print together for the first time in decades.
Using the tag #HaroldsPurpleCrayon, professional artists and readers alike honor Harold's influence over the last 60 years. I Love Dogs! illustrator Bob Staake, who is one of the 15 authors/illustrators contributing a new piece of artwork, spoke about what Harold meant to him, according to HarperCollins:
I felt honored to give my graphic take on little Harold—a boy who quite literally taught me that there's magic in every crayon line.
Because I can barely stand the wait, check out some of these unique drawings that pay tribute to Harold and the Purple Crayon. Below each image is the author and his or her most popular books.
Sandra Boynton is behind the hilariously unique children's books featuring all kinds of creatures, like Moo, Baa, La La La!, Hippos Go Berserk!, The Going-To-Bed Book, and, oh, about 50 more.
James Dean is behind the bestselling picture book series, Pete the Cat (who likes to go on adventures like Harold).
Duh, Eric Carle wrote The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Tony DiTerlizzi is behind children's books like Kenny and the Dragon and The Spider & The Fly, but all you middle grade and YA fans probably know his name as Holly Black's partner for The Spiderwick Chronicles.
Tad Hills wrote and illustrated Duck and Goose, among many other children's books. (And excuse me, I'm dying from adorableness overload.)
You know Pat Schories better as the illustrator of lovable pup Biscuit.
Kevin Henkes imagined up mouse characters, like Lilly (above) from Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and Chrysanthemum, among others.
Award-winning author and illustrator Lane Smith (and her Monkey) created loads of picture books, including It's a Book.
Tom Watson is behind the popular middle grade series Stick Dog.
Of course illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser's Fancy Nancy would never turn down a celebration.
You can see the entire collection of happy birthday wishes on the HarperCollins website, but just some fair warning: It's going to cause some tears stinging your eyes and enough "aww"-es to concern people around you on the subway. Happy birthday, Harold!
Images: thelittlevikings/Instagram; Courtesy of HarperCollins