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Children's Fiction Diversity & Multicultural

The Last Two Crayons

by (author) Leah Freeman-Haskin

illustrated by Shantala Robinson

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Apr 2023
Diversity & Multicultural, Emotions & Feelings, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Recommended Age
3 to 6
Recommended Grade
p to 1
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Student Activity

Where to buy it


Sienna looks forward to drawing a picture for her school’s spring art show, until she ends up with the last two crayons …

By the time Sienna arrives at the art table in her classroom, all the crayons are gone except dark brown and light brown. Now how can she make a special picture for the art show? Andy teases that all she’ll be able to draw is mud and dog poop. Her teacher tries to cheer her up, telling her that lots of wonderful things are brown. So Sienna imagines some of her favorite things — her grandma’s rose garden, her new bicycle, rainbows — but none of them are brown! Her friends remind her that chocolate ice cream is brown, and so is the grizzly bear at the zoo. Sienna draws both, with the help of her friends, but neither picture seems special enough. In the end, inspired by an early memory, Sienna comes up with her own idea for a drawing that’s perfect for the art show.

The Last Two Crayons looks at the beautiful world of brown, with a heartwarming and empowering ending that celebrates diversity, creativity and family.


Key Text Features





Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:


Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.


Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.


Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

About the authors

LEAH FREEMAN-HASKIN is a debut children’s book author, a content creator and the founder of BLK Oceans, a website dedicated to promoting Black-owned businesses. As a child, she was inspired by a picture book to see beauty in the color brown, which helped change her perspective on her own sense of beauty and self-acceptance. Leah lives in Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and two young sons.

Leah Freeman-Haskin's profile page

Shantala Robinson has been drawing voraciously since she was a child. She currently works in the field of illustration and graphic design, selling artwork and working on commissioned pieces. She draws and paints in a variety of styles but tends toward using multimedia to collage her pictures. Shantala is passionate about literature and travel, gaining inspiration from her exploration of strange and fantastic environments both fictional and real. She believes the world can be a wondrous and magical place and tries to recreate that sense of adventure in her artwork. Shantala lives in New Westminster, British Columbia, with her family.


Shantala Robinson's profile page


  • Winner, Ontario Library Association Best Bets

Editorial Reviews

This is a gentle and affirming picture book about self-acceptance and the importance of family.

School Library Connection

A sensitive and age-appropriate tale to spark conversations about skin color.

Kirkus Reviews

A heartwarming picture book [that] champions diversity while still remaining grounded, realistic and joyful.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

A charming debut, accompanied by warm, welcoming ­illustrations, sure to set off conversations about the language of color and the ­inclusion of every hue.

School Library Journal

Told through a relatable art class activity with child-friendly vocabulary, this is a good book to celebrate diversity, coming together, and feeling good about who one is.

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

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