I was not sure about When Pencil Met Eraser as it looked like another odd couple story. And, it pretty much is that.
The characters of Pencil and Eraser created by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr are complete opposites, and that means what you think it means. There is a little tension between these two at first. Pencil likes to draw lines, shapes and keep creating. Eraser likes to make some empty space that it feels enhances the image (such as Pencil makes a solid image with no white space at all, but after Eraser is done, there is a path that one can use to walk through the meadow). The changes Eraser makes, creates a completely different image. And Pencil is not too happy about it…. or is he? The theme of learning there are other ways of doing things and working together can be fun is obviously the lesson.
While I understand the message and moral of the story (as I said, working together and learning to see things differently) I am not loving the way it was presented. Something about the tone and my inner ear never clicked. (I have sensory issues and my main two are visual and touch. And when reading my visual ear comes into play and sometimes that can throw things off). But this is not to say that this is a bad story. In fact, I did mostly enjoy it. It is just not one that I would reread or consider a favorite.
What I did like was German Blanco’s illustrations. Pencil and Eraser are cartoonish and have some fun and simple facial expressions, but what Pencil draws is completely like an artist doing a realistic project. As if an artist in their middle-drawing years was getting ready to make a career in architecture or illustrations for children’s book. The contrast of the artist (Pencil) and art images (the drawings of Pencil) is nicely separate but does not take away from the story. They blend together and are still separate.
The illustrations are the art. They are the focal piece of the book. Without them, there is no book. The black and white elements, with hint of color makes them classic, modern and fresh. Each page feels and looks good.