Review: Linus The Little Yellow Pencil


Linus The Little Yellow Pencil

Author/Illustrator: Scott Magoon

Publisher: Disney Hyperion, 2019

Source: Personal Purchase

I recently had the opportunity to attend a program by author/illustrator Scott Magoon (An Unlikely Story 7/24/19). Scott talked about his newest book, Linus the Little Yellow Pencil, with a community of readers that displayed a lot of excitement and energy. After sharing his story, the reason for all the enthusiasm was obvious. It’s a wonderful book that talks about creating in a constructive, team-building way.

It’s Linus the Pencil’s first time for entering the family art show. Only “art with heart” will win the prize. Of course, Linus would like to win. He certainly has ideas. He also has Ernie, his eraser. And Ernie isn’t easy to please. Ernie is just a tad critical. All the other family members create beautiful things, unencumbered by a nasty little eraser/voice who is continually telling them their work is not good enough. It is only natural that Linus becomes discouraged.

Fortunately for Linus, he meets someone (no spoilers) who gives him a different – perhaps sharper – perspective. Linus is able to not only break free of Ernie’s negativity, but they actually find a way to create together.

This book is fun, has a great message, and is filled with illustrations that explode with color. During his presentation, Scott talked a bit about his process when working on illustrations. He admitted to particularly liking to draw inanimate objects and turning them into “people.” Well, animate objects. He did talk more about his art and gave demonstrations, both by hand and by computer, but here’s one fact that stuck with me. In illustrating, eyebrows are your friend! (Much like I always say that in sewing, the seam ripper is your friend – only for a different reason.) Eyebrows are what convey a lot of emotion. Notice this in Scott’s work and be sure, when working on your own drawings, to pay attention to those eyebrows!

Also, be sure to check out the book’s cover under the paper jacket and the end pages. You don’t want to miss all the wonderful illustrations hidden there.

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