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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

The Pencil

by (author) Susan Avingaq & Maren Vsetula

illustrated by Charlene Chua

Publisher
Inhabit Media
Initial publish date
Apr 2019
Category
Native Canadian, New Experience, Humorous Stories, Polar Regions
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781772272161
    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price
    $16.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781772271966
    Publish Date
    Aug 2018
    List Price
    $12.95

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3
  • Reading age: 6 to 8

Description

2020 USBBY OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL BOOK  
"[A] wonderful and touching story" — New York Time Book Review
"A breath of warmth from the far north"— Kirkus Reviews
Susan and her sister, Rebecca, love watching their mother write letters to people in other camps. Their mother has one precious pencil, and she keeps it safe in her box for special things. One afternoon, their mother leaves the iglu to help a neighbour, and Susan, Rebecca, and their brother Peter are left with their father. They play all their regular games but are soon out of things to do—until their father brings out the pencil! As Susan draws and draws, the pencil grows shorter and shorter. What will their mother think when she comes home? Based on author Susan Avingaq’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu, this charming story introduces young readers to the idea of using things wisely.

About the authors

Susan Avingaq est née dans la toundra et est déménagée dans le village d’Igloolik au Nunavut au milieu des années 1970. Elle adore aller camper et pêcher chaque fois qu’elle le peut. Elle amène souvent de nouvelles personnes avec elle pour leur enseigner ces compétences de la terre. Elle aime beaucoup coudre et apprendre aux jeunes les pratiques culturelles traditionnelles. C’est une personne pleine de ressources et elle croit que ces pratiques sont d’importantes aptitudes à transmettre à la jeune génération. Elle compte plusieurs petits-enfants avec qui elle aime partager ses histoires.

Susan Avingaq's profile page

Maren Vsetula est enseignante et rédactrice de matériel éducatif pour le compte d’Inhabit Média. Elle veut toujours passer le plus de temps possible dans la toundra à se promener, pêcher, pagayer et faire du traineau à chiens. Elle a vécu et travaillé au Nunavut pendant plus d’une décennie.

Maren Vsetula's profile page

 

CHARLENE CHUA a illustré de nombreux livres pour les enfants de tous les âges. Ses illustrations lui ont valu de nombreuses récompenses et les livres qu’elle a illustrés ont été mis en nomination pour USBBY Outstanding International Books, OLA Best Bets, une récompense Shining Willow, et Kirkus Best books. Son premier livre Hug? a été publié en 2020. Elle vit à Hamilton avec son époux.

 

CHARLENE CHUA has illustrated more than a dozen books, including Amy Wu and The Perfect Bao, The Pencil, and Hug?, and her work has been nominated for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, the Forest of Reading Awards, the Shining Willow Award, and the First Nation Communities READ Award. Charlene lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

 

 

Charlene Chua's profile page

Awards

  • Unknown, USBBY Outstanding International Book
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award

Editorial Reviews

The Pencil is an incredible look into a life not many people get to see or experience. While the setting of the igloo and the Inuit customs set the story apart and elevate it to something unique, the experience of children being bored, eager to explore their surroundings and especially the things that are ‘’forbidden” to them is very much universal.

The fact that the story is based on the author’s own experiences grounds it and pulls the reader right into the cozy home, making it easy to imagine the sounds, smells and sights of that one afternoon. The illustrations are beautiful, a limited color palette only serving to accentuate the sketch-like quality of the lines that seem to have been drawn by the same pencil that is at the center of the story. A wonderful message about using resources wisely while not letting go of your imagination, The Pencil is a must-read for kids and adults alike.

Highly Recommended

Authors Avingaq and Vsetula understand life in Nunavut, Canada, and embed in the story the importance of being responsible for belongings and caring for them wisely...A breath of warmth from the far north.

[A] wonderful and touching story about resilience and thrift and community. The illustrations are appropriately done in pencil, and they are playful and open and beautiful.

The Pencil goes beyond a lesson in frugality and becomes a story of family, of play and of culture, which many children will appreciate.

The Pencil goes beyond a lesson in frugality and becomes a story of family, of play and of culture, which many children will appreciate.

" [A] rich and moving story about how small things can make a tremendous difference in children’s lives...Avingaq’s childhood is beautifully evoked in this charming story about the need to take care of our belongings."

A family-focused story with a light moral that lovingly illuminates a lifestyle rarely seen in children’s books.

Other titles by Susan Avingaq

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Other titles by Charlene Chua

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