Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Obstinate Pen

Horn Book (March/April, 2012)

Writers and artists sometimes feel that their materials and tools are uncooperative, even hostile, but Uncle Flood has this problem in spades. His new pen is insulting, subversive, and anarchic. Uncle Flood tries to write, "The following story is all true," and what appears on the paper is "You have a BIG nose." When the pen falls into the hands of police officer Wonkle as he's trying to write a ticket, things look bad, but the pen turns out to be a bit of a romantic and matchmaker. In act three the pen ends up with Mrs. Norkham Pigeon-Smythe. She is determined to write a memoir of her "very lush life," but the pen has other ideas. Finally, the obstinate pen comes to rest with Uncle Flood's nephew Horace and in this congenial company finds its true purpose in life. Dormer's skinny-limbed, dot-eyed characters inhabiting a world of merry chaos are reminiscent of Quentin Blake and share his energy and warmth. sarah ellis

No comments: