The Little Red Pen

July 20, 2011

Little Red Pen is worried about the huge stack of papers. They need to be graded. They must be graded. Who will help her?  Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel create a fun read that every teacher will love in The Little Red Pen. The voices of the characters are rich and funny. I could hear the passion of Little Red Pen as she works diligently through the papers. The work never seems to end and she implores the help of her fellow school supplies. They all seem to fear falling into the pit (the trash can) and tiring too much. Each character hides in the drawer until all of a sudden Little Red Pen stumbles and falls into the trash can.

The supplies realize they are needed and cannot take a backseat, letting just one do all the work. A sense of community abounds. Working together, they are able to motivate each other, save Little Red Pen, and accomplish the looming piles of papers.

Your kids will laugh hearing each character. I do love the way the conversations are color-coded, meaning the color of the spoke words match the color of the character.  This book will provide an opportunity for you to talk about team work and community in your classroom. You could also use this book as a read aloud as an introduction for procedures with using classroom supplies. Janet Stevens  has the characters present themselves with an air of respect that your students will connect with. The humor will keep them on the edge of their seats.  Love this book and want it for my collection!

A fun YouTube video about the book.

Savorings for reading and in writing for The Little Red Pen:

  • Character traits – Pushpin is Senorita Chincheta and speaks some Spanish.
  • Voice – kid’s will connect
  • Play on Words – Scissors “I’ve been cutting up all day. I’m getting dull. Not good for a sharp guy like me.”
  • Everyday happening – ideas for a story from ordinary school supplies
  • Font manipulation
  • Community – working together

Warsaw Community Public Library – new 2011 book


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