A pencil goes through an existential crisis when his eraser criticizes his art.
The upcoming art show and its attendant grand prize have got Linus, a little yellow pencil, and all the other art supplies (crayons, a paintbrush, and a ruler, among others) very excited. But at the other end from Linus’ point, eraser Ernie is extremely critical of Linus’ drawings. Ernie moves from embarrassment at their quality to outright anger, and he takes it out on Linus. The pencil’s cheerful expression soon morphs from worry through sadness and shock to depression as Linus watches the other supplies creating beautiful work. Then, “feeling dull,” Linus meets Smudge in a “cave” (a pencil sharpener) and gets some solid advice about using the talents you have when you are able: “Find your path by drawing it.” And Linus does just that, finding a way for him to draw and for Ernie to erase that creates something totally new and different. Readers will notice that although their work attracts a crowd at the show, no grand prize is awarded, which makes the ending more of a fizzle than a finale. Magoon’s digital artwork uses scanned paper textures manipulated in Photoshop, with color used masterfully—the result emphasizes the different looks achieved by using the various art supplies. The simple but expressive faces on the implements are standouts.
Magoon gets his message across: Be the best you you can be. (Picture book. 4-8)