Title: Arabella and the Magic Pencil
Author: Stephanie Ward
Illustrator: Shaney Hyde
Publisher: EK Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Hardback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  Arabella is a very happy only child living a perfectly pleasant life.  Until she gets a baby brother who utterly upsets everything!  So Arabella erases Avery with her magic pencil.  Problem solved.  She’s sure her life will go back to being perfect now…won’t it?
A fun-filled look at sibling rivalry and creative problem-solving!

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a lovely picture book and one which I’m sure all children would love! ‘Arabella and the Magic Pencil’ in hardback is a good size, a little wider than an A4 piece of paper, and square, and is filled with thick glossy pages of some really beautiful illustrations and text. Arabella is the only child of a Duke and Duchess, and every year she receives a new gift from her doting parents. She loves every gift she gets, but one day, something arrives that Arabella wasn’t expecting, a baby brother.

Arabella and the Magic Pencil book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

The book is a perfect one to give to children who are expecting to or dealing with new baby brothers or sisters. Although all children will love the story, it’s an especially important one to share with kids who might not be coping well with the idea of a new baby in the house.  As the story continues, Arabella gets a magic pencil, one that can bring to life anything she creates, but her brother Avery ruins every moment of Arabella’s life and one day she has had enough of him. She erases her brother with the magic pencil.  But is her life really that good with Avery gone? The story is a well told one, and I don’t think there are any spoilers in telling you that life without Avery isn’t as Arabella expected it.

The illustrations are really beautiful, I just love the detail in them all, how lovely they look and the wonderful expressions on everyone’s faces. The pictures get even more magical towards the middle and end of the story, when you see the things that Arabella creates with her magic pencil. I especially love how the colour in the pages reflects the mood in the story and how it changes when Avery is gone. There are lots of little details to look at in the pictures, things to spot and I do love how the images really do make you feel the emotions of the story.

Although not a part of the book you get, I have been made aware that if you visit the publisher’s website there are bonus extras that children can engage with. You can go on the website and print off some fun colouring pages, or some paper dolls of Arabella and Avery with two outfits each (one of the two being one you can design and colour in yourself). I like these added extras as they offer children some more chances for creativity.

Arabella and the Magic Pencil book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

The ending is obviously a good and ultimately happy one, in fact I thought it was so lovely I couldn’t stop smiling after reading this.  The message of dealing with new siblings is also well told and I really like the way this has been done in this book. I’ve seen several picture books that address issues of younger siblings, giving an ultimate positive ending of course, but this is definitely a favourite of mine and one I would recommend.

Have any of your children had difficulties coping with new simblings?  What picture books do you like?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂