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The Pencil Paperback – 7 Sep 2009
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[An] hilarious and utterly enchanting new classic -- Amanda Craig Times
When a pencil draws a rubber, a battle of wits ensues!See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
I would encourage every parent to try this book. Allan Ahlberg is an excellent writer and the illustrations work perfectly alongside the text.
The story is imaginative and flows quite naturally from the pencil's drawings. I won't go into detail but there is a battle between the pencil and a rubber, in which the pencil triumphs. It manages to be both amusing and introduces some clear links between action and consequence.
Ahlberg also has another book, The Runaway Dinner, which closely ties in with this both in terms of characters and style. The language is less simplistic than in most children's books and it's a pleasure to read aloud.
I bought this for a 3yr old, who already has (and adores, the equally good) The Runaway Dinner. Predictably, it has been very popular. I would expect this book to appeal to a broad age range from three upwards. Easily one of my favourite books for children.
My summary does NOT do the story or lovely illustrations the justice they deserve! This book would be delightful shared with your own children but would make a suberb stimulus book for a literacy (or even philosphy/RE) lesson. What would children do if they could create anything? What happens when what we create turns against us. The story may be about a pencil, but the potential for developing thoughts and ideas is immense.
Superb. I can't recommend it highly enough!!!!
The pencil, fulfilling the requests of the characters he has created, works with the paintbrush to fill out the whole town, but trouble begins to brew when some of the drawings have not come out quite perfect - ears too big, ridiculous trainers etc. So the pencil draws a rubber which sets to work correcting things. At first, the rubber is helpful but he becomes increasingly naughty, with wholesale deletion of people, scenes and even the paintbrush until all that is left is the rubber and the pencil....
If you are 4, it's worrying for a few pages as the pencil tries to escape, trying various ways to evade the destructive eraser. Fortunately, he then comes up with a clever plan, the world is restored and there's a heart-warming ending.
The pictures are warm, friendly and fun. They are bursting with life and energy throughout, and have a slightly unfinished feel which is particularly in keeping with the narrative. There's also light humour in both the words and the pictures - for example, my son (4) laughs when the chair is erased from underneath Banjo, and welove little ant Allan.
This is not the first picture book I have come across where a pencil's activities are integral to the story (other great ones include Piggot: Gregory and the Magic Line and Browne: Bear Hunt) but it is an inspired and amusing take on this good premise and I thoroughly recommend it. I think this the third book that Ahlberg and Ingman have collaborated on, and the best in my opinion. Buy this first, and when you love it, come back for The Runaway Dinner.
"The Pencil" is a story that provokes questions concerning our deepest fears. As the eponymous writing implement grows in action and confidence, so he create a world which both thrills and threatens him. He draws a boy and the boy comes to life, but who is he REALLY? The pencil's creations both delight and demand. They require names and then food. They run riot and the power struggle that ensues is as old as time itself.
Soon it becomes evident that the pencil cannot provide all that his creations need. He cannot draw in colour. THIS is the most profound moment in Ahlberg's work. Presumably this had not occurred to the pencil before as he knew nothing else. As has been said about world views, we do not see them; we see through them.
Yet, ironically, it is a further creation that enables colour to come into the world. How the pencil cannot create colour, yet CAN create a paintbrush who colours is a question that is never resolved; and neither should it be. Some things are best left unexplored; mystery is as essential as knowledge.
I could continue but suffice it to say that the struggle to maintain order while allowing the creations to be all that they are is a consistent theme running through the book. The leitmotif of the creature turning short term solution to long term problem is one upon which we should all reflect.
The ending is a masterstroke of quick-witted thinking in the face of overwhelming chaos.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this book, and so does my 2 year old. I'm sure we'll get several more years out of it too, such a lovely fun story, especially for bedtime.Published 16 months ago by Ebeekay
Great story, book for my 5 year old son and the whole family enjoyed the readPublished 16 months ago by Anas B
This is book is FANTASTIC!!! Very clever yet simple concept. Years down the line, we still love reading it!!
I also recommend The Runaway Dinner by Alan Ahlberg. Read more
Adults will enjoy reading this to children or to themselves. Fantastic story and amazing illustrations.Published 20 months ago by Mummy