“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
― Albert Einstein
In a world of Common Core, filling in the correct bubbles and being data-driven in schools, there is a sparkling shimmer of magic and solace in a glorious piece of blank paper and a pen. The beginning of this completely black and white book opens with a sullen boy who acknowledges that “there are famous people-musicians, athletes, politicians- whose words and actions spread across televisions and newspapers to every ear and eye across the world. Sometimes I feel small when I see those rich and famous people”. Who wouldn’t, right?
But then the boy remembers he has his pen…
With his pen he is master of his own domain, and his domain is magnificent! His pen makes giants of men and then puts them in the hands of the smallest girl. His pen rides dinosaurs, is smart as a snowflake and tells everyone he loves that he loves them. Indeed his pen can do anything, anywhere! At times, his personified pen even mocks him-by hiding so the boy can’t find him.
The notion that there is something amazing from nothing is a very powerful idea. So, too is the idea that you are in charge of your own destiny; that your days become your months, which in turn become years and your life. The pen gives the powerless power; the belief that the boy’s idea holds validity and that perhaps, if he feels so inclined, he too could become one of the ‘famous people”.
Creativity is often something overlooked in our everyday lives. We go to school, go to work, graduate college, get jobs to pay for the homes we buy. When are we supposed to fit in drawing pictures? Art and the spontaneous combustion of ideas is a remarkable thing and should be a part of all of us. Granted, we may have to dust a few layers off, but it is worth it. The boy concludes that “there are a million pens in the world and each one has a million worlds inside it. So if you have a pen, see what you can do-let those worlds inside your pen out!
STEAM? STEM? Sometimes you just need a piece of paper and a pen! So what are you waiting for?
Check out other great titles by this Caldecott Honor Illustrator and Coretta Scott King recipient in our Children’s collection.