Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 8
- Grade: 1 to 3
Back in two sharp new editions, this oh-so-punny friendship story is making its mark.
Pencil and his boy Jackson are a great pair: they draw, they sketch, they scribble. But then Jackson gets Tablet and Pencil finds himself dumped in the dreaded junk drawer; he just can’t compete with Tablet’s videos, games, and movies. How will Pencil ever reclaim Jackson’s attention? With the help of some new pun-loving junk-drawer friends (and a drooling, pencil-chomping dog), Pencil sketches out a plan to draw Jackson back into their friendship.
A former educator whose first book was shortlisted for a Crystal Kite award, author Ann Ingalls uses kid-friendly puns and an upbeat tone in this story that celebrates friendship, collaboration, and unplugged fun. Buoyed by award-winning artist Dean Griffith's always-exuberant illustrations, Pencil: A Story with a Point is a gentle reminder that technology is no match for imagination.
About the authors
Ann Ingalls is the author of more than twenty books for children and adults, including Little Piano Girl, a finalist for the Crystal Kite Award, and Pencil, which earned a starred review from Foreword Reviews, was a Bank Street Best Book, and was a finalist for the Sunshine State Young Readers Award Jr. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Ann graduated from Michigan State University and worked as an early childhood and special education teacher. She now writes full time at home in Kansas City, Missouri—except, of course, when she is busy traveling the world.
Dean Griffiths is a popular picture book artist with more than 25 titles to his name. His many awards include the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Book Prize for Maggie Can't Wait and the Chocolate Lily Award for Ballerinas Don't Wear Glasses. Dean's 2012 title Lumpito and the Painter from Spain has been nominated for the SYRCA Shining Willow Award and was a Bank Street Best Book. His most recent book is When Emily Carr Met Woo. Dean lives in Duncan, British Columbia, with his daughter.
- Short-listed, FAME Sunshine State Young Readers Award Jr.
- Commended, Bank Street Best Book
Excerpt: Pencil: A Story with a Point (by (author) Ann Ingalls; illustrated by Dean Griffiths)
Pencil and Jackson were best friends. They went everywhere together. They scribbled and sketched. They played mustache, airplane, and parade. They had lots of fun until... Tablet moved in.
Praise for Pencil: A Story with a Point
2021 FAME Sunshine State Young Readers Award Jr. shortlist
2020 Bank Street Best Book selection
★ STARRED REVIEW "Office supplies have never been more entertaining than they are in this punny tale of friendship and ingenuity."—Foreword Reviews Starred Review
"The illustrations feature expressive, googly-eyed implements and realistic children and animals...An overload of fun puns will have many readers giggling through to the openly sweet moral at the end."—Kirkus Reviews
"Pencil: A Story with a Point is great fun. Every librarian should make it a point to order this delightful book."—NY Journal of Books
"What will it take for Pencil to make his mark and win his way back into Jackson's heart? Dean Griffiths' digitally rendered cartoon illustrations featuring animated school supplies complement Ann Ingalls' clever, pun-filled story which has a point to make: New tools are not always better than old ones."—ILA Literacy Daily, "Back-to-School Stories"
"Rating: E...Through the use of personification, Ann Ingalls has created an entertaining and engaging book that is carefree, engaging and certainly a winner for young readers to enjoy....Dean Griffiths' vibrant illustrations are cheerful, bright, and add to the humour in the story....Pencil: A Story With a Point is a perfect story to have readers enjoying a big belly laugh! Libraries and classrooms will certainly be filled with giggling children when this book is read during story-time read-alouds."—Resource Links
"Veteran author Ann Ingalls has produced a book with...much lighthearted play with language that will delight younger readers just learning about verbal humour as well as teachers who could use this book as a lesson on the pun as literary device....[Dean Griffiths] has filled the pages of Pencil with familiar objects which are candy-colourful and plastic in their contours, as well as expressive images of the two dark-eyed, dark-haired children..."—CM Magazine
"Rating: 5...[Reading Pencil] would be a great way to introduce a craft project."—Youth Services Book Review
"Pencil: A Story with a Point celebrates imagination, friendship, and working together....The text is clever with kid-friendly puns throughout. The graphics are eye-catching and colorful, making this a great book for children ages three to eight. For adults, this book prompts conversation about technology and its role in children's lives."—Children's Book & Media Review
"Pencil is playful with language and we never got tired of the puns...And while this indeed a pencil versus tablet story for our screen saturated age, it's also more interesting than just that...[A] warm and humorous book which demonstrates that a story with a point is not necessarily a bad thing. It's all in the delivery, and this one is done right."—Pickle Me This
"Humorous, pun-filled text along with terrific artwork will make this a fun book to share with young children."—Jana the Teacher
"The conversational puns...will have readers giggling and trying their hand at creating some of their own...The colorful, expressive digital art is humorous in all the right places."—Sal's Fiction Addiction