Use All the Crayons! By Chris Rodell

Because life is anything but black and white!

About Use All the Crayons: The Colorful Guide to Simple Human Happiness by Chris Rodell: Chris Rodell likes to consult with a five-year-old anytime he needs a reminder as to what is important in life. In his uplifting, humorous, and spiritual guidebook Use All the Crayons!, Rodell encourages others to become universally happy by becoming more colorful, interesting, and, most importantly, fun!

Rodell insists that colorful people are invited to the coolest parties; with that goal in mind, he presents over five hundred tips and entertaining, Dale Carnegie–like anecdotes that provide a glimpse into how he has successfully transformed his life into one not focused on money or fame, but instead on inspirational experiences, laughter, and fulfillment. Accompanied by personal diary entries, Rodell shares simple ideas for living a more colorful life, including adding the title “Rev.” to all subscriptions and charitable donations, keeping handfuls of confetti ready for impromptu celebrations, and understanding the advantages of getting a $75 wrist tattoo of an $18,000 Rolex instead of the real thing.

Like a box of crayons, we are all born with an astounding range of color options. This effervescent guidebook combines populist common sense with a healthy dose of optimism in the hopes of teaching others how to make every day as vivacious as the brightest crayon in the box.

My two cents

Sometimes a good laugh is all it takes. In 501 snippets and essays interspersed, Chris Rodell captures the joy in the most mundane. This book is one smile, one laugh, one guffaw, then some contemplation. Then it repeats all over again!

Sure a lot of this is commonsense -- being in the moment, taking notice of what matters to us, our health, our family, community and friends. But isn't commonsense in shortage what with all the distractions and busy-ness in this world? It's nice to be reminded. And challenged.

I found the little pithy nuggets of wisdom in this one both amusing and funny. While I hate to compare people, Rodell's insightful humour reminds me of Robert Fulghum of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten-fame. There is always a teaching moment; the simplest and sometimes most trivial things can become the most meaningful.


This collection is diverse and I think there is something for everyone. Here are some of my observations and favourites; you're sure to find your own favourites!

No. 67: Because I'm a book blogger, I loved this: Next time you find reason to go to the local public library, sneak over into the children's section and read an old Dr. Seuss book you remember enjoying as a child. If you don't have a reason, make one up. Wonderful things happen there.

No. 225 and the following Colourful Diary Diary: Rodell suggests adding "Rev." when filling out subscriptions claiming "You'll be amazed at the fawning service you get." Well, he sure got the post office's attention: I noticed the "Rev." when he sent me my review copy and lo and behold, the "Rev." was encircled in red with some shorthand which seemed "fawning" to me!

No. 239 and the following diary entry: The virtues of getting a pedicure. Get one if you never have. Get one, especially if you are male :)

No. 326: Describing the odd, tingly feeling you get below the ankle as having your foot "fall asleep" doesn't cut it for colorful people. Try saying you're suffering from "comatoes."

No. 351 and the following dairy entry: Because I am sooo over Brad Pitt. Whiny is not sexy.

Uh-oh: There were some cheesy or even roll-your-eye moments in this one, I'll be honest (a Rolex tattoo, no thank you). Probably because I couldn't really relate to some of them. I after all, didn't grow up in an American environment. 

Verdict: This collection of humorous musings will inspire and challenge you to find joy in the simple, the trivial, and mundane. Find your favourites. Read and re-read. Open randomly, read, re-read. And share the book and its positivity and humour widely.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

This Book is Free!! That’s right. Free. Anyone who wants a copy mailed to his or her home, no charge, is welcome to one. Just ask. Author Chris Rodell, of course, encourages you buy it and hopes you’ll support him and the people who distribute, promote and sell books.

But if you’re one of those Americans who are out of work and having a tough time or if you know a U.S. serviceman or woman who might benefit from a book that aims to brighten daily lives, then Rodell wants you to get in touch at storyteller[at] He doesn’t believe a book that at its heart aims to help people be happy should be withheld from anyone over a few dollars.  

“It’s said the best things in life -- love, friendship, laughter -- are free,” Rodell says. “I don’t presume that this book is one of the best things in life but, by God, there’s nothing to say it can’t keep good company.” 


  1. I just finished this one too. I still need to write my review. It was tons of fun though.

    Also (unrelated) I finished Silk Armor - loved it.

  2. Thanks, Aloi (and April)! Bless your hearts!


© guiltless readingMaira Gall