Today’s book is one of those you’ll have no problem reading again and again to your class, and it will always spark some great creative activity as a result.
Written by Alan Ahlberg, Illustrated by Bruce Ingman
Published by Candlewick, Aug. 12th, 2008
Hardcover: 48 Pages
Themes: Drawing, storytelling, creativity
First Lines/synopsis: Once 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.
The Pencil drew a boy. “What’s my name?” said the boy. “Er…. Banjo.” said the pencil. “Good,” said Banjo, “draw me a dog.”
Aren’t you utterly intrigued already? Once there was a pencil, who loved to draw. He sketches wonderful things – a boy and a dog, a cat for the dog to chase, a house, a family for the little boy and even an entire town. He even draws a paintbrush to make his drawings come alive with color. Is everyone happy? No! The pencil is overrun with complaints and must draw an eraser to clean things up.
The eraser starts rubbing things out and everyone appears satisfied. But just as the pencil had gotten carried away, the eraser gets a little too excited and starts erasing all sorts of extra things. Oops! The house and town disappear. The pencil must quickly come up with a plan to stop this eraser and save his own lead.
Why I like this Book: This book reminds me a little of the classic, Harold and the Purple Crayon. The combination of humorous text, quirky drawn out writing style, clever illustrations and clever creativity all point to a story which will appeal to a wide range of children. It’s a fun read that will have readers rushing through the pages to find out who/what will prevail. Whimsical illustrations and a quick wit make this a real winner. It will open up a child’s concept of creating a story, and even the most reluctant storytellers, will have something to say.
Activities/Resources: There won’t be many children who will not automatically want to create a story after reading this book. This could be in written, oral or pictorial format! I think the follow-up storytelling could also be done in pairs or small groups with children responding to each others’ pictures.
To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books. Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays badge in the right sidebar.