A boy describes everything his pen can do, from the literal to the metaphorical.
A thoughtful boy wearing a fedora opens with a pensive, poetic assertion. “There are rich people who own jewels and houses and pieces of the sky,” there are people who are famous worldwide, and sometimes he feels small in comparison—“[b]ut then I remember I have my pen.” This extraordinary nib pen hides an elephant in a teacup and X-rays the boy’s chest, revealing a butterfly with a pen body. It has tender abilities (“My pen makes giants of old men / who have seen better days”) and cryptic qualities (“My pen is smart as a snowflake”). Myers uses nib pen for his excellently skilled, shaded and detailed drawings in black ink on white background. The boy’s pen “draws [him] a new face every morning,” shown only partially finished. When text says the pen “wears satellite sneakers” or “tap-dances on the sky,” illustrations show the boy doing so; when the pen “worries about all the wars in the world,” the boy shelters from tanks and warplanes. This pen is the boy’s tool but also his heart, self and strength, and maybe it’s not so unusual: “There are a million pens in the world / and each one has a million worlds inside it.” Highly sophisticated concepts and art invite the long and close examination of older readers.
Poignant, vulnerable, wise. (Picture book. 7-12)