A children's book blog by Miriam Rainwater

A children's book blog by Miriam Rainwater

"TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they'll have with twenty-six. Open your child's imagination. Open a book." ~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Little Red Pen

The Little Red Pen Scissors spoke, "The end of the world could be worse than the Pit.  The papers must be graded. We'll have to do it ourselves."
And so they did.  Well, they tried.
Scissors grabbed a paper. "No capital letter!" Clip.  "Dot that i!" Snip.
 Not like that!" Stapler groaned.  "You cut it to shreds.  Let me do it.!  Eraser, hop on. I see a misspelled word." Bam!  "This sentence needs a verb!" Bam! "This whole paragraph is wrong!" Bam, bam, bam!  Bam, bam, bam!
"Not like THAT!" said highlighter.  "Too many staples!  Let me do it!" Squeak, squeak, sque-e-ee-ak.
"Not like that!" Eraser squinted.  "Too bright!  Let me do it!" Rubbity rub, smudgity, smudge."  
"Not like that,"  said Scissors.  "Now you erased everything!  Even the student's name.  Whose paper is this?"

In this new release from Harcourt Children's, sister Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel have worked together to create a humorous tale of how important it is to have teamwork and how everyone is needed.

At first, the Little Red Pen is doing all the work.  Who will help her grade all the papers?  How will the children learn?  Will the morning yield the end of the world?

After the Little Red Pen ends up in the "Pit of No Return," the other school supplies must lay aside their arguments and selfish ambitions to help her escape and finish the grading before the night is over.

Susan Stevens Crummel does a great job incorporating Janet Steven's text into the pictures.  Each of the school supplies has their own color text that corresponds with their personality.  They each have their own sense of humor, too.  The ilustrations made me laught aloud several times.

The pushpin speaks Spanish, so a few lines of Spanish are found throughout the text.  It's mostly Spanglish, however, so a parent can understand it (without knowledge of the foreign language) and explain to their young readers.  That said, this proves a creative way of teaching your young ones a few basic Spanish words (e.g. Que terrible!--How terrible or No yo!--Not I!).

The one element of possible concern for parents is minor.  Scissors calls Eraser "numskull."

I am giving The Little Red Pen five stars.  However, I am categorizing it for 6-9-year-olds and not for 3-5-year-olds because of the Spanish phrases.  Overall, I loved this play on the traditional "Little Red Hen."

What is your favorite children's book that plays on a classic tale?

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