Saturday 28 September 2019

Arabella and the Magic Pencil

Arabella and the Magic Pencil by Stephanie Ward, illustrated by Shaney Hyde (EK Books) RRP HB $24.99 ISBN 9781925820010

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Arabella is a young cherished royal and an only child. Each year she is granted a wish for anything her heart desires and instant happiness ensues. One thing she does not wish for is a baby brother… but she gets one! It doesn’t take long before her brother, Avery, consistently ruins her usually happy and calm days.

For her next wish, Arabella requests a magic pencil that can make anything she draws come to life. With the pencil, she creates a myriad of imaginative and extraordinary things that make her life even more grand; singing flowers, a flying bicycle and a fuzzy rainbow-striped hippo. Her creativity doesn’t stop there: Arabella draws the most amazing garden tea party one could imagine. Everything is wonderful until… Avery ruins it. Arabella can draw whatever she wants with her magic pencil, but she can also erase anything she wants. Avery is soon gone, but it doesn’t bring the desired outcome for Arabella.  

Arabella and the Magic Pencil is an enjoyable picture book that allows young children to enter a fantasy world where anything is possible. The single and double-page spreads feature pencil and watercolour illustrations that add to the text and bring to life Arabella’s marvellous creations. The text often makes use of alliteration to add fun descriptive detail. The story includes themes of creativity, imagination, family changes and sibling rivalry. It is suited to children aged 4+

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