April 27th, 2021

A-Z of Artists

Bruce Ingman and The Pencil

This week we have reached letter 'I' in our alphabet and we are celebrating the brilliant work of author and illustrator Bruce Ingman. He has worked for many years with Allan Ahlberg illustrating gems such as The Pencil and The Runaway Dinner. Bruce loved the Pink Panther as a child and The Children’s Bookshow team still reminisce about the time that Bruce danced across the stage to The Pink Panther theme tune!

Book of the Week: The Pencil

by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Bruce Ingman

The Pencil is a playful, witty, wonderfully quirky story about the power of imagination. "Say hi to a boy called Banjo!" Once a pencil draws him, there's no telling what will come next - a dog, a cat, a chase (of course), and a paintbrush to colour in an ever-expanding group of family and friends. But it's not long before the complaints begin - "This hat looks silly!" "My ears are too big!" - until the poor pencil has no choice but to draw ... a rubber. Oh no!

Author in focus

As a child, Bruce spent long periods in hospital with a hearing problem, so drawing was important to him both as a pastime and a useful form of communication. He planned to be a painter and after graduating he got a place at the Royal College of Art to study illustration under Quentin Blake. For the past twelve years he has collaborated with the renowned and much-loved author, Allan Ahlberg, producing many funny and engaging books such as, *The Runaway Dinner*, *The Pencil* – winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award – and *This is the Story of Alison Hubble*. Bruce Ingman also currently heads up the MA in Children's Literature Illustration at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Watch this reading of The Pencil


Take Your Pencil for a Walk

Starting at one edge, take your pencil for a walk around a blank piece of paper. Take it in different directions, crossing over lines and creating different shapes all over the page. Don’t take the pencil off the paper until you come to an end at the edge. Then colour or paint the shapes you have created using different colours and patterns.

Draw an Imaginary World

In the book, The Pencil creates a whole world of its own and everything it draws comes to life. If your art could come to life, what would you draw? Perhaps a new pet or a special friend? A rocket ship or a time machine? Maybe an enchanted forest or a world made of chocolate? Let your imagination (and your pencil) run wild!

Creative Characters

Create your own characters based on different inanimate objects. If they could speak, what would they say? Give them a voice and a personality by adding speech bubbles. You could even bring them to life using an animation app such as Chatterpix.

We’d love to see your creative drawings! To send us your work to display in our gallery use the link below, or upload to twitter with the hashtag #BookshowA-Z.

Email us your work for our gallery

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