Review Blog

Sep 15 2008

The pencil by Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman

cover image

Walker Books, 2008. ISBN 9781406309621
(Age 4+) Recommended. A highly imaginative picture book, this is the story of a solitary pencil that decides to do something about its loneliness. First it draws a picture of a boy, who wants a dog, so it draws that and then a cat to complete the picture. After a madcap race through the town they all want something to eat, so the little pencil must find a way to colour their food. It draws a paintbrush and together they have a wonderful time creating a whole world. However some of the people aren't too happy about how they look, so the pencil creates an eraser, which plays havoc on the drawings. What solution can the clever little pencil come up with?

The pencil is a quirky tale of adventure with a touch of danger and lots of funny incidents to keep the reader happy. The delightful illustrations move from black and white to gorgeous colour and provide humourous little touches that are a delight to find.

This would be a good book to read aloud and to encourage listeners to use their imagination. The reader must turn a page before the resolution of each dilemma that the pencil is faced with, so they have time to decide what could happen next and to come up with solutions of their own. They would also have fun drawing and making up their own names for all the characters the pencil creates.
Pat Pledger

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