The Pencil

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, Mom 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 Dad brings out the pencil! As Susan draws and draws, the pencil grows shorter and shorter. What will Mom 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.

Written by Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula | Illustrated by Charlene Chua

Hardback (English) ISBN: 978–1-77227-216-1 | $16.95 | 6.5″ x 9″ | 36 pages | Full-colour illustrations throughout

Paperback (Inuktitut) ISBN: 978–1-77227-196-6 | $12.95 | 6.5″ x 9″ | 36 pages | Full-colour illustrations throughout

Praise

“[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

“A breath of warmth from the far north.” — Kirkus Reviews

“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