We all know someone who makes things possible but rarely gets any credit. They aren’t the star of the show, but maybe are in the chorus or even stage manager. They don’t write the magazine articles, but without them, the articles and pictures would not get published. They run the world, but are behind the scenes. In the new book Eraser, written by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant, we are urged to take note of those unsung heroes and to realize how making mistakes can make something better in the long run.
In this really cute story, Pencil takes all of the credit, even though Eraser has kept him from making mistakes. Pencil is the one that all of the other school supplies look up to – “Pencil’s SO sharp” “I wish I was as cool as Cobalt.” Eraser is frustrated that no one appreciates her and she has a huge desire to be more, but no one seems to let her.
In desperation, Eraser leaves the desk in a quest to find a way to be more than just the clean-up crew. She falls into the trash and thanks to crumpled first drafts, she discovers that she does offer something important. Eraser creates “second chances.” When she is gone from the desk, everyone there realizes just how much they need Eraser, especially Pencil. She might not be the one everyone notices right away, but they definitely struggle when she is gone.
In addition to being about the important people who truly make the world go round, Eraser also shows us how important mistakes are and how they give us second chances to make things right. This concept is something that children really struggle with. They want to get it right the first time and sometimes give up when they make a mistake. But in truth, one of the best ways of learning and creating is to try something and mess up and than try again.
One of my daughter’s teachers is actually doing a really interesting thing this year in their writer’s workshop. Rather than allowing the kids to write in pencil and feel the need to constantly erase their ideas, she has them writing in pen. The first draft is one color, then they “revise” it to add details and fill it out more in a different color, and finally they edit it to make sure it is ready to be “published” in a third color. The kids really get to understand that the “perfect” idea doesn’t just flow out them the first time, that it needs adjustment and revision.
Speaking of daughters, it is the children who really teach us. Eraser was inspired by a school essay that Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant’s daughter wrote in the third grade. Eraser is a wonderful desktop drama about figuring out who you are, finding happiness, and the importance of second, third, and maybe even fourth chances.
You can even download an Eraser activity kit here.
One lucky winner will receive a 7-piece school supply kit along with a copy of ERASER, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses only). To be entered, post a comment below. You can also get an extra entry by sharing this post on other social media platforms and letting me know.