Children’s Picture Book: When Pencil Met the Markers Review

Meet the Markers! They love to color. But Purple Marker colors everywhere―even outside the lines. When the other markers call his creativity a mistake, it’s up to Pencil and Eraser to help Purple discover how making mistakes and making art go hand-in-hand.

This hilarious and clever picture book allows Pencil and Eraser to show Purple Marker―and the rest of us―how to turn our messes into successes and do what makes us happy.

When Pencil Met the Markers brings engaging art, adorable characters, and a clever story to the everyday. The result? A funny, effective message about how the best art can come from trying something new.

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Children's Picture Book: When Pencil Met the Markers Review

“Every child is an artist,” – Pablo Picasso

I remember the day I sat my son down in his high chair and gave him crayons and a paper for the first time. He looked at his crayons confused but somehow immediately knew to pick them up and start coloring. He drew big and little scribbles with passion, colored outside the coloring page’s lines, and proudly showed me his work. I would come over and excitedly say things like great job and keep going. 

Secretly inside, he was not the only one excited he was scribbling. I remember my older daughter saying to me. “Mom, why are you so excited? He is only scribbling. and he is coloring outside of the lines.” And I will never forget the words I said to her. “This is how he shows his creativity,” I told her. He is exploring lines and shapes and building his fine motor skills. When he’s ready, he’ll start to put them together in creative ways.” 

In history, many artists, like Pablo Picasso, chose to deliberately break the rules of their time, rules about composition, perspective, and so on. While breaking those rules, they created breakthroughs of art and opened new possibilities for the artists that followed. These works were often not well received by the public, but these works of art are now considered classics. 

However, these classics weren’t made easily. Artists like Picasso brought their creativity and “think outside the box” mentality to their works of art. But as everyone knows, the creative process can often be difficult– especially for children.

Like adults, kids might find it challenging to know where to begin with a project, look for inspiration, or just think outside of the box. As parents, we need to give our kids unbounded freedom to explore and imagine. We need to allow them to be the next Pablo Picasso. 

Unfortunately, many kids begin to doubt their creativity and ability, and the temptation to compare oneself to others sneaks in. While parents can be an ear to listen or helpful support, picture books can be an excellent way to get lessons across that otherwise kids wouldn’t hear. 

A wonderful picture book that demonstrates that the creative process isn’t always easy, perfect and that the best artistic ideas often come out of mistakes is When Pencil Met the Markers by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr—illustrated by German Blanco. 

When Pencil Met the Markers is about a group of Markers who love to color. But Purple Marker colors everywhere—even outside the lines. When the other markers question Purple’s creativity, it’s up to Pencil and Eraser to help Purple learn how making mistakes and making art go hand-in-hand.

This funny and witty picture book allows Pencil and Eraser to show Purple Marker—and us readers—how to turn our messes into successes, explore our creativity, and do what makes us happy.

When Pencil Met the Markers is exceptionally engaging, entertaining, and has the cutest characters in their story. This picture book will teach your children that the best art can come from trying something new and will teach children creativity, inventiveness, and creative problem-solving. Teaching creativity is not something that can be done directly, so why not use this book to foster creativity in kids. 

This children’s book is one of our favorite read-aloud books now. It taps into you and your child’s inherent creative spirit and shows us that being different and creative is okay. This book is filled with charm and beautiful illustrations, and your kids will want to read it again and again!

Where Can I Find Picture Book, "When Pencil Met The Markers?"

You can find When Pencil Met The Markers by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr. on Amazon.

About the Author, Karen Kilpatrick

“Karen Kilpatrick is a former attorney who left the legal industry for the toy industry. She is an author, toy inventor, and marketing executive with a passion for storytelling. She lives in South Florida with her three kids.”

About the Author, Luis O. Ramos, Jr.

“Luis O. Ramos, Jr. is an attorney at law and a kid at heart who practices law during the day and writes and consumes stories in his free time. He and his wife currently live in South Florida with their very cute but very demanding orange cat.”

Rapid Fire with Karen & Luis

Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Karen: Growing up, there was nothing I loved more than to read, but it wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I thought about writing. I had an amazing English teacher who encouraged me to focus on telling stories instead of just consuming them! It took quite some time, though, before I pursued writing as a potential career.

Q. What does your family think of your writing?

Luis: My parents have always encouraged me to pursue what I loved, and I receive that level of support from my entire family. Whenever I have any sort of event in my life, my big Cuban family shows up to cheer for me. Their support of my writing is no different. My wife is my biggest fan. She constantly checks the Amazon listing for new reviews on the first book, When Pencil Met Eraser.

My sister and parents promote the books to everyone they know (and to people they don’t). My grandmas don’t speak English, but they love the book. My cousins, aunts, uncles, and in-laws all preordered the first book as soon as they could, and they did the same with When Pencil Met the Markers. I am so lucky to have a support system like that.  

Q. What was the most surprising thing you learned about creating picture books?

Luis: Page counts matter! It seems obvious now, but I didn’t realize the number of pages were so important when writing picture books. It was simultaneously really helpful and really frustrating to know the exact number of pages and spreads we had to work with to tell the entire story. 

Q. What advice do you have for writers?

Karen: Keep practicing and never give up! For most, writing is a long process with a lot of rejection along the road to success. Don’t be discouraged, be open to improvement, and keep working toward your goals! 

Q. Describe what your ideal writing space looks like?

Luis: I like to write when I’m surrounded by books. Sometimes that ideal writing space is my own home office where all my favorite books are on the shelf near me. Other times, it’s at bookstores where there is a myriad of books I haven’t yet read but still have the potential to inspire me. Whenever Karen, Germán, and I work together, the space isn’t as important to me because working and talking and laughing with them drives my creativity. 

Q. How did you become involved in the subject or theme of your picture book?

Karen Kilpatrick: One of my daughters is an artist. One day, we were hanging out together while she was drawing, and she was using a pencil that didn’t have an eraser to draw and a separate eraser to erase. 

My other daughter was reading one of the Who Would Win? books, which led me to ask the question: who would win in a battle—a pencil or an eraser? The three of us were arguing about it for a minute until we concluded that the pencil and the eraser are complimentary implements, which led to the story idea of how a pencil and an eraser come together as friends! 

When Pencil Met the Markers is the sequel to When Pencil Met Eraser. Expanding on the same artistic theme, the new book addresses creativity and uniqueness through the tale of a marker who likes to color outside the lines! 

Q. What inspires you as a writer?

Karen: Everything! The latest book I’m writing is inspired by a movie “poster” I saw online. Sometimes it’s something someone says, watching my kids, or reading or watching something that sparks an interest–my ideas come from everywhere!

My challenge is vetting the ideas I have to decide, which are actually worth pursuing. I’m always excited in my “new idea” moments, but when the excitement wears off, I have to approach the idea from a more objective perspective. 

Q. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Karen: Read, spend time with family and friends, exercise, travel, and watch movies!  

Q. What type of books do you write? 

Karen: Right now, I am focused on children’s books. I love writing for kids! But I do have ideas for other genres that I will hopefully pursue in the near future. 

Q. What do you hope your readers take away from this book? 

Karen: My hope is that kids who read this book will understand the big picture message—that it’s ok to be different, and it’s ok to make mistakes. Specifically, about art, I hope they walk away knowing that creation is an individual process and that you can create art in a myriad of ways!  


About the Illustrator, Germán Blanco

“Germán Blancois a graphic designer who found his passion in illustration. When he’s not drawing, he enjoys watching movies and playing football (aka soccer). He lives in South Florida.”

Rapid Fire with Germán Blanco

Q. Which page was the most fun to illustrate? 

Germán: There’s a page in the book where Eraser tries to erase the purple marker. It was a fun challenge to capture the character’s expressions so kids would be entertained by the absurdity of Eraser’s actions. 

Q. Since creating artwork is your job, what kind of hobbies do you enjoy to relieve stress and help inspire your artwork? 

Germán: I exercise, play soccer, watch movies, and listen to music. Inspiration comes from everywhere!

Q. Are you working on something new and exciting for us to look forward to? 

Germán: Yes, I’m always working on new projects, from design to comics to children’s book illustrations. My next children’s book hopefully will be released in late 2021. 

Q. Did you draw as a child? 

Germán: Yes, which got me in trouble in school! I would doodle in the back of all my notebooks.

Q. What were your favorite books growing up? 

Germán: I loved reading comics and still do today! Some of my favorites were Mafalda, Condorito, and Garfield. 

Don't Forget To Join Karen, Luis & Germán on Social Media!

All in all, my family and I have really enjoyed this picture book and we know you will too! Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions about this review. I look forward to hearing from you! 

* This book was kindly sent to me by Author, Karen Kilpatrick, Luis O. Ramos, Jr. & German Blanco in exchange for an honest review. 

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