on 9 April 2014
A book for children aged six and upwards, and also for those who are kids at heart!
"This is no ordinary pencil,” says the cat sitting on the end of nine-year-old Daniel’s bed. "It's magic."
The author invites us to see the world through the eyes of Daniel, a quirky nine-year-old boy, as he discovers a magic pencil in his attic. This is indeed no ordinary pencil, for whatever Daniel draws takes on a life of its own. His creations include Octobear, half teddy, half octopus, and Pizza-bot, a robot who can make pizzas while solving algebraic equations.
Daniel goes on one fun-packed adventure after another with his new creations, taking his best friend, Annie, along with him. As much as Daniel enjoys sharing his adventures with Annie, they test their friendship, and he starts to worry that he has lost her. During the battle to win her friendship back, he learns important life lessons, which we could all learn from.
S. J. Henderson immerses us in the world of Daniel, and his magical creations. The humour carries the story along at quite a quick pace. I read this book in one sitting, and would have loved to read more. By the end, I felt sad to be saying good-bye to Daniel. This is S. J. Henderson’s first book; I certainly hope she is planning a sequel.
on 13 September 2015
I read this book with my 11 year-old son, Daniel. I thought it was fantastic. The grammar and language use is perfect for the target audience, it's fun, funny, exciting (at least at an appropriate level for middle grade), and teaches some great morals. It's a pretty quick read (I finished it in about an hour), so it should even work well for kids who have trouble sitting still. I'd recommend it for the 4th-6th grade crowd, or thereabouts.
on 4 April 2016
Fabulously entertaining. The author knows her target audience well, and although comparisons with Wimpy Kid are inevitable, I found this much more to my taste. I cared about Daniel - but please don't tell anyone I'm reading MG books, I'll lose all credibility.