‘Little Red Pen’ gets A+ for creativity, fun


“THE LITTLE RED PEN,” by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel, Harcourt Children’s Books, April 18, 2011, $16.99 (ages 4-8)

There’s nothing quite like a paper all marked up with red. Slashes here, dashes there, swirls and spelling corrections coming to life on an otherwise black-and-white page. And it’s all done with a red pen.

I love red pens. I mean really love red pens. You see, in my other life I work as a copy editor and red pens are tools of the trade. I think that’s why when “The Little Red Pen” by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel first came to my attention, I knew I had to have it.

There’s work to be done, and the Little Red Pen is ready to get started, but her helpers — Stapler, Scissors, Pencil, Eraser, Pushpin and Highlighter — are no where to be seen. If they don’t help her, the school papers won’t get graded and “It might be the end of the world!”

Little Red Pen’s helpers are tired and worn out and afraid of being sent to “The Pit of No Return.” They refuse to help so she tries to do it all on her own. When the helpers go up to check on Pen, she’s gone. The papers must be graded, so they try, but it’s no good. They need help. If only the Little Red Pen were around to help…

“The Little Red Pen” is a great reminder of how working together, many tasks can be accomplished. It’s great fun to see regular office supplies take on personalities. Of course Pen would have horn-rimmed glasses. How could she not? Stapler with his big front teeth and Highlighter with his fuzzy hair are also fun. Illustrations perfectly match the moods of the objects as well, truly bringing them to life.

I may be a bit biased by my red-pen envy, but if I were to grade “The Little Red Pen,” it would get an A+.

In conjunction with the book’s release, Harcourt Children’s Books is offering an online activity kit. You can access it here.

© 2011 – 2017, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.