Christopher Myers fights vulnerability and apathy with his pen, celebrating the unlimited resourcefulness of our imagination

Christopher Myers, My Pen

Published 2015 by Disney. Hyperion, 32p

 

To the people who make things, and to the people who share them

 

Detailed black and white illustrations accompanied by simple, bright, descriptive sentences tell the story of a boy facing a world of people that all have something to be proud of.

There are rich people who own jewels and houses and pieces of the sky. There are famous people – musicians, athletes, politicians – whose words and actions spread across televisions and newspapers to every ear and eye across the world. Sometimes I feel small when I see those rich and famous people.

In his smallness, the boy remembers he has his pen, the perfect instrument to make magic and change his world. Soon the boy with a fedora hat and an inquisitive expression on his face will tap dance on the sky, ride dinosaurs and sail to Africa in a newspaper boat.

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The pen not only ingeniously represents the world but also invests art as the language of the soul; the boy draws his fears, his doubts and his panic, his love, his faith and his happiness. The representations are not idealistic at all, they show sensible and truthful every day scenes, which raises the credibility of the book and makes it so beautiful. When facing a war scene the boy draws a table and hides under it wishing to shield his vulnerability.

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The boy’s story has its imperfections (the pen doesn’t always get it right) but the drawings reinforce the idea of determination, curiosity and unlimited resourcefulness of people’s imagination.

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Complement My Pen with Sarah Bee’s The Yes, a bold story on self-confidence and and the importance of a positive mind.

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