Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Connor Wilson
Illustrator: Alyssa Machette
Publisher: Magic Dreams Publishing
Although the Bible states in Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times …,” sometimes both adult and child wish that friends and family would “just leave me alone or go away.” In young author Connor Wilson’s debut book, A Giant Pencil, the wish comes true from the perspective of a boy in his everyday life.
This forty-five page paperback book was written by the United States’ youngest traditionally-published fiction writer when he was nine years old. With the support and encouragement of his family and taught by his novelist father, Wilson does an excellent job telling the story from a child’s viewpoint. Illustrator Alyssa Machette draws simplistic, easy to understand and well thought out characters’ facial expressions to enhance the story line. The book is targeted toward elementary school age children but adults will appreciate its contents and message. With some capitalization errors and the misspelled word “gonna” used, new readers may be confused with proper rules and spelling.
This tome is about Billy, a sixth grader, who thinks mainly about himself and how he relates to others, including his many siblings, friends, classmates and even the neighborhood pet. One day while in the principal’s office, he sees a yellow object fly by the window. Afterward when he searches for the strange item, he realizes it is a giant pencil that only he can see. With his frustration of family members who get on his nerves, a dog that constantly barks at him and school bullies that bother him, he uses the big magical pencil eraser and deletes them one at a time from his life.
Being all alone first makes Billy happy to be able to do anything he wants, no taunts by his sisters or brothers or being told what to do by his parents and teachers. However, after a scary, lonely night of restless sleeping, he starts to realize how much he misses his parents, siblings, friends, school and even bullies. Drawing each one back into his life with the giant pencil, he learns that having these special people in his life is more important than not. He comprehends the valuable lesson to think about others, instead of himself, when he puts the pencil back where he found it.
For a young boy to write such a charming story of compassion and caring about others is a wonderful tribute to his personality and upbringing. Kudos to Connor for his first book and more success to his next one.
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