WHEN PENCIL MET ERASER by Karen Kilpatrick


Age Range: 4 - 8
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Opposing art implements must learn to coexist in the same space and create together as one adds while the other subtracts.

Change is hard, especially for Pencil. The solitary graphite artist who “loved to draw” finds his worldview challenged when Eraser comes into the picture and uses negative space to complicate the drawings. Believing art can happen only when you add to the image, Pencil has a hard time playing well with others and accepting the notion that, sometimes, less is more. In contrast, ever gleeful Eraser sees potential and beauty in removing. When Pencil challenges Eraser to create art from his chaotic lines, Eraser deftly gives Pencil something he cannot resist: a maze. Eraser’s creativity opens Pencil to the possibility that, perhaps, there might be more to art than making lines on a paper. The two become fast friends as the potential for their creativity doubles when combining forces. Debut illustrator Blanco creates endearing endpapers that serve as mirrors to the story. Although this is a creative concept, it comes after Max Amato’s Perfect (2019), which covers similar conceptual territory. However, through Kilpatrick and Ramos’ text, Pencil and Eraser entangle in a deeper dialogue than Amato’s implements do, and further potential for disaster—or so Pencil would think—is humorously foreshadowed by more art utensils coming into the picture.

An imaginative and engaging look into artistic possibility. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 28th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-250-30939-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Imprint
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2019


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