The Pencil

$16.95 CAD

"[A] wonderful and touching story" — New York Time Book Review

"A breath of warmth from the far north"— Kirkus Reviews

Susan and her sister, Rebecca, love watching their mother write letters to people in other camps. Their mother has one precious pencil, and she keeps it safe in her box for special things. One afternoon, their mother leaves the iglu to help a neighbour, and Susan, Rebecca, and their brother Peter are left with their father. They play all their regular games but are soon out of things to do—until their father brings out the pencil! As Susan draws and draws, the pencil grows shorter and shorter. What will their mother think when she comes home? Based on author Susan Avingaq’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu, this charming story introduces young readers to the idea of using things wisely.

"A family-focused story with a light moral that lovingly illuminates a lifestyle rarely seen in children’s books."—School Library Journal


"[A] wonderful and touching story about resilience and thrift and community. The illustrations are appropriately done in pencil, and they are playful and open and beautiful."—The New York Times Book Review


" [A] rich and moving story about how small things can make a tremendous difference in children’s lives...Avingaq’s childhood is beautifully evoked in this charming story about the need to take care of our belongings."—The Globe and Mail


"Authors Avingaq and Vsetula understand life in Nunavut, Canada, and embed in the story the importance of being responsible for belongings and caring for them wisely...A breath of warmth from the far north."—Kirkus Reviews


The Pencil is an incredible look into a life not many people get to see or experience...a must-read for kids and adults alike. Highly Recommended."—CM Magazine


"The Pencil goes beyond a lesson in frugality and becomes a story of family, of play and of culture, which many children will appreciate."—CanLit for Little Canadians

USBBY Outstanding International Book   | 2020  |  
Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award   | 2020  |  Short-listed