Celebrating Pencil Day

March 30th is National Pencil Day marking the day that Hymen Lipman received the patent for attaching an eraser to the end of a pencil in 1858.

While other writing instruments seem to dominate the picture book scene – crayons, chalk, even markers – the ubiquitous pencil is finally getting its moment. 

Here is a collection of sharp, pencil-themed picture books to share with young readers on Pencil Day.

When Pencil Met Eraser
Written by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr.
Illustrated by German Blanco 

Ever wonder why there’s an eraser on every pencil? This picture book tells the story of how Pencil and Eraser became friends. When Pencil draws on the pages of the book, Eraser erases part of Pencil’s work, and the book becomes a canvas for their different takes on creativity–until they discover their artwork is better when they work together. 

Linus the Little Yellow Pencil
Written and illustrated by Scott Magoon

Linus and his eraser, Ernie, don’t always see eye to eye. But with the family art show drawing near, these two will have to sharpen their collaboration to make something neither one could do on their own!

The Pencil
Written by Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula
Illustrated by Charlene Chua

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.

Pencil’s Perfect Picture
Written by Jodi McKay
Illustrated by Juliana Motzko

Pencil is trying to draw the perfect picture for his dad. So, he asks his friends Brush, Pastel, Marker, Crayon, and Chalk what makes their art perfect. But they each have a different answer. How will Pencil be able to create his own perfect picture?

Arabella and the Magic Pencil
Written by Stephanie Ward
Illustrated by Shaney Hyde

Arabella is a beloved only child who has a picture perfect life until her brother, Avery, arrives. While she loves him, it’s sometimes hard to like him. She spends her days creating marvellous things with her magic pencil and ignoring him. But when Avery spoils a proper tea party, Arabella erases him from her life. Oops! How can she get him back? 

Celebrate Pencil Day by reading one of these great picture books and try out this simple pencil-themed activity for kids.

Arabella’s Magic Pencil Craft Download

Happy Pencil Day!

Pencil Day Giveaway

March is the time to celebrate lucky leprechauns, four-leaf clovers 🍀 and…pencils. ✏️

Yes, March 30th is Pencil Day and I’ve been looking forward to it since the release of my picture book, Arabella and the Magic Pencil!

What better way to celebrate than a Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds? I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate and a copy of Arabella and the Magic Pencil in honor of the mighty pencil! 🎉

In addition, I’m excited to share a DIY Pencil Craft that’s perfect for preschoolers and primary students who want their very own magic pencil, just like Arabella.

Download the FREE step-by-step craft activity and celebrate Pencil Day with a custom-made magic pencil.

Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway and visit the dozens of book-related blogs offering prizes in the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!

Click here to enter the RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!

Good luck 🍀 and Happy Pencil Day ✏️ !

1. BookHounds2. BookHounds YA
3. Stuck In Books (US) ~4. Storey Book Reviews
5. Jean Book Nerd6. Mina Burrows
7. All the Ups and Downs (INT)8. Author M. L. Hamilton
9. Lili Lost in a Book10. Kristi’s Book Nook
11. Savings in Seconds12. Angel’s Guilty Pleasures (INT)
13. MYTHICAL BOOKS (INT)14. Heidi Reads. . . (US)
15. Choose Life Choose Words16. Rockin’ Book Reviews
17. icefairy’s Treasure Chest (INTL)18. Sweet Romance & Mystery
19. Literary Rambles (INT)20. Writer with Wanderlust
21. SSLY – Smile Somebody Loves You22. Romance by Beverly (US)
23. The Kids Did It24. Says Me Says Mom
25. Lindy@ A Bookish Escape26. Hearts & Scribbles (Int)
27. Brenda’s Book Blog28. Every Free Chance Books (US/INT)
29. Christy’s Cozy Corners (US) ~30. Author MK McClintock
31. Craves the Angst Book Blog [US]32. Mid-Life Goddess Book Giveaway
33. Author Ana Jolene (INT)34. Long Tail Writing (US)
35. Maureen’s Musings36. Life Within The Pages (INT)
37. Family Friendly Blog

For more information about Arabella and the Magic Pencil, visit the Books tab, the EK Books webiste or see reader reviews on Goodreads. Thanks!

🌟 As seen on Sunday Post and Booknificent! 🌟

5 Great Kidlit Podcasts

I’m late to the game when it comes to podcasts. But recently, I found a slew of entertaining and informative shows that have made me convert. Here are five podcasts that children’s book readers and writers should have a listen to.

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The Happy Book: A Children’s Book Podcast with Tania McCartney

My latest discovery is a brand new podcast (now in Season 2) by Australian author, illustrator and all around fabulous kidlit creator, Tania McCartney. I love this podcast for so many reasons but it’s by far the most informative for those that are writing and/or illustrating children’s books. With 30+ years of experience, Tania McCartney tells it like it is (with a charming Australian accent) and with specific, relevant stories from many areas of the kidlit industry. A bit of the information is specific to Australia, but the large majority is relevant across borders so give it a go. Available on iTunes, Spotify and Whooshkaa and there’s a Facebook page too – https://www.facebook.com/TheHappyBookPodcast/.

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One More Page: A Podcast for Lovers of Kids’ Books

This is the podcast that got me into podcasts. It’s fun, funny and full of interviews with popular kidlit authors. But what sets it apart from others is that they actually talk to kids about kids books. Brilliant, right? And it’s hilarious. In its first year, One More Page was a Finalist in the Australian Podcast Awards. Well worth checking out. Available on iTunes, Castbox, Pocketcasts, Spotify and iHeartRadio.

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The Children’s Book Podcast with Matthew Winner

This might be the most comprehensive podcast about children’s books available. There are over 500 episodes and some with the most successful children’s authors in the world. Matthew Winner’s long-form interview style gives creators ample time to share their journeys. I’ve picked up some incredible wisdom by simply tuning in and tuning everything else out. Plus, Matthew’s sheer joy and gratitude about the world of children’s literature is infectious. It’s an absolute pleasure to listen to this multi-award-winning, highly acclaimed series. Check out the website for all of the details, http://www.matthewcwinner.com/podcast.

So you want to be a writer

So You Want to be a Writer

Practical advice for writers of any genre, Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait share their wealth of experience as writers and authors. Plus, there are interviews with a wide variety of authors. I search for relevant kidlit authors, but occasionally I’ll try an adult or non-fiction author and invariably learn something I can use in my own writing. With 275+ episodes, there is something for everyone. Available on iTunes, the Australian Writers’ Centre website or Stitcher Radio.

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Middle Grade Mavens: The Podcast

A relative newcomer, this podcast specifically focuses on a middle grade books. Middle Grade Mavens reviews books, interviews publishers and authors working in this genre and discusses everything related to the genre. If you’re writing middle grade, check out this podcast for the most relevant and timely information about this wildly popular kidlit genre. Available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify and Radio Public.

I’d love to hear what you tune into, so please leave a comment with a link to your favorite kidlit podcasts.

Happy listening!