Picture Book of the Week: Linus The Little Yellow Pencil by Scott Magoon

I went to the mothers’ retreat for my homeschool group last weekend. Oh the joys of estrogen bonding! I haven’t laughed this much in a long time, or eaten such ah-maz-ing food. We’re talking three different kinds of homemade ice cream, homemade ranch dressing, lots of fresh salad fixings, ribs, and cheesecake. My friend Gayle did this amazing presentation about hygge. You can read about hygge here. I learned a new definition of hygge from Gayle: “the act of taking genuine pleasure in turning simple, ordinary things into extraordinary things.” She told us that homeschool moms were the first to come up with hygge, even before the Danish. I agree!

I realized from her presentation why I love picture books. Picture books are hygge! I love cuddling on the couch at night with my little guy and reading to him. It just adds such a crowning touch to the day, making any stresses I have melt away. I don’t even have to take a warm bubble bath and dry off! Then reading in the morning to him, especially in the winter, makes the day so much more full of promise and delight. That’s why I love this ritual here, but for me, it’s cocoa and books.

So…in the spirit of being hygge, I am hoping to highlight one picture book a week. Today’s book is the one above. It is so utterly charming! At first, Linus, the yellow pencil, and his eraser, Ernie can’t get along. Ernie criticizes everything Linus draws. But then something amazing happens to “draw” them together. Of course I’m not going to tell you, go read the book! It is such a whimsical, funny, synergistic event. I love how the arc of the story relates to the Hero’s Journey. I have never thought of a pencil having a Hero’s Journey, but this author must have had a hygge moment to inspire him.

I read this book this morning to my three youngest, and it put a smile on my tough 15 year old and made the morning magical. Picture books fend off the grouchies on a homeschool morning every time I read them. I love it!

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