Pencil’s Perfect Picture

Albert Whitman. May 2019. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807564769.
PreS-Gr 1–This book addresses a common anxiety of young children when they are asked to draw and may provide them with some strategies to overcome this concern. In the story, a personified pencil wants to know how to create a “perfect” picture. The pencil approaches a variety of art tools that have just created a picture—including a paint brush, a marker pen, a pastel, a group of crayons, and a piece of chalk—and asks how they manage to create a perfect picture. The tools find the pencil’s request surprising, and sometimes silly, and share why they create (“I paint for pleasure,” “I draw for peace, not perfection,” and “We draw because it’s fun!”). The marker pen also mentions that doing your best is most important when drawing. The pencil combines all of their thoughts and strategies to create a picture for a friend, finally realizing that the picture is perfect because it was made for another. The illustrations are simple, colorful, and two-dimensional.
VERDICT This book captures a fine message: creating art is rewarding and particularly so when it is created for a friend. On the other hand, the illustrations and the word selection are basic and childlike in their simplicity.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.