Thursday, February 26, 2009

Children's Book Review: The Pencil (ages 4-8)

book coverOnce there was a pencil, a lonely little pencil, and nothing else. It lay there, which was nowhere in particular, for a long, long time. Then one day that little pencil made a move, shivered slightly, quivered somewhat...and began to draw.

Allan Ahlberg's The Pencil is one adorable book. A lonely pencil gets creative and starts drawing. But human nature is predictable, and eventually the people and even their pets start asking for more and more and more. They want to be named. They want to eat. They want to be drawn in color. They hate their names, their features, their clothing.

But how to make corrections? The clever little pencil draws an eraser with a mischievous grin that goes on an erasing rampage through town. It's up to the little pencil to figure out what else he could draw that could wipe out such a devastating threat to his colorful little world and allow his creations to live happily ever after. Too cute!

This is my first time reading an Allan Ahlberg book. Seems that he and his late wife, Janet, collaborated on many wonderful children's books, including The Jolly Postman that went on to sell over 6 million copies. Janet won a Kate Greenaway Medal for illustrating their Each Peach Pear Plum.

I'm off to hunt down The Runaway Dinner and Previously, two other collaborations by Ahlberg and the illustrator Bruce Ingman.

Watch Allan Ahlberg as he humorously explains to children the inequitable job duties of a married writer and illustrator:

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