Review – The Pencil

A bit of honesty, T wasn’t all that keen on tonight’s read when we found it at the library, but I enjoyed a flick through so snuck it into our pile! Tonight, T seemed to have forgotten any previous reluctance and happily picked out The Pencil, by Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman, for his bedtime story.

It probably won’t come as much of a surprise (given the books title) but, quite remarkably, this book as a pencil as it’s star! The story starts when one day the pencil shivers into life and draws a boy. The Boy demands a dog, Pencil obliges, and soon there there is a world bring created. The time comes to eat but none of Pencil’s creations are eager to eat black and white food.

And so Pencil draws a paintbrush. With colour comes further expansion – the boy is drawn a family and their world grows. But Pencil hasn’t heard the last of the complaints. With little choice, he draws a rubber and this appears, at first, to be a perfect solution. But rubber goes rogue, rubbing out anything and everything in his path! Can Pencil come up with a solution and restore what has been rubbed out? Grab a copy of this awesome, original effort and find out!

This is an enjoyable, original, creative picture book that we both really enjoyed reading together for the first time. The idea seems simple and yet is not in any way! It’s well presented, well written – with snappy sentences building tension and repetition used to great effect – and illustrated superbly, giving the impression that things are actually happening as you turn the page! And somehow, the creators have produced a character that you bond with and cheer for that is A PENCIL!

Slightly longer than your standard picture book, so better aimed at children around 4/5 and up. T really enjoyed the rubber (younger readers might find his role quite scary) and running his fingers over the illustrations. He told me, “the rubber goes rub, rub, rub and the pencil has to do fast drawing.”

You can get a copy of tonight’s story via the following link.


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