cover image Linus the Little Yellow Pencil

Linus the Little Yellow Pencil

Scott Magoon. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-136800627-9

Linus the pencil yearns to compete in the family art show with all the other office implements. But Ernie, the red eraser that sits at the top of Linus’s bright yellow body, has a mind of his own, and it’s the equivalent of a human’s inner critic. Ernie is convinced that Linus’s art will be an embarrassment and thus thwarts any attempt at art-making. “You call that a straight line?” Ernie scowls, then “Rubba-dubba-rubb went Ernie, and Linus’s line was gone.” Some advice from a composite figure living inside the pencil sharpener (“Let the eraser erase. It is no matter”) rescues Linus from a spiral of self-doubt and inspires him to enlist Ernie in blending and smudging, adding drama and texture to their drawings just in time for the big show (“They drew wildly and joyfully together”). Effusive text by Magoon (Rescue & Jessica) can feel overeager, but the digital drawings offer an unbridled energy that veers between bold poster styling and the intriguing chaos of a relentlessly creative artist’s sketch pad. Ages 3–5. [em](June) [/em]