Book Review – The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman
The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg and illustrations by Bruce Ingman
The illustrations have been intentionally drawn to appeal to children and are completely marvellous from start to finish. In this book they fit the story which is about a Pencil who, to begin with is solitary on the page. He starts to draw characters, and the story develops to a grand finale involving a rubber – Eeek! (don’t worry, it’s a happy ending). The initial illustrations are basic black and white pencil drawings, but when the Pencil draws a Paintbrush a few pages along the illustrations really come to life.
As an adult it is challenging to read to your children and it takes a bit of practice to get into the flow of how it’s written. You almost have to imagine rather than just reading the words you are having a conversation with the book, and you really do need to give the characters their own little voices to give a more credible read (a closet thespians dream). Such an example would be:
Then, all of a sudden TROUBLE. Banjo kicked Sebastian Oh! into the air and broke a window. Polly ran off with Bruce’s bone. What’s my name? said the bone.
There are lots of little interjections’ as above throughout the book, but having read it nearly every night for the past few months I am somewhat of an expert. Initially this does disturb the flow’ of the read but you soon get used to it and can really make a big thing of them to the children.
The Times review on the back page of the book is: ‘A hilarious and utterly enchanting new classic’ and I would have to agree with them.
You can buy The Pencil from all good book shops, RRP £5.99