The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Argentina

Una niña con un lápiz

(A girl with a pencil)

Levín, Federico (text)
Lassalle, Nico (illus.)
Buenos Aires: Limonero, [2021]. – [46] p.
ISBN 978-987-47940-0-0

Poverty  | Homelessness  | Children's rights  | Imagination  | Picture book

Reading age: 5+

White Ravens issue: 2022


The text and the sentences of this story could hardly be shorter, the language hardly more brittle, the tone hardly more laconic. Even the pictures, especially on the first pages, could hardly be more reduced. We see a young girl, a girl with a pencil. She is tired and has no home to go to. She draws a house, but it has no bed. She draws a bed in friendly surroundings, but she cannot go to sleep. She draws a book but cannot read it. In the end, she draws a sister who reads to her, and finally she falls asleep, thanks to the soothing power of her imagination. But neither the story’s comforting conclusion – also for the reader – nor the almost sweet portrayal of the child in the black-and-white, minimally coloured illustrations can distract the reader from seeing that this book is about poverty, homelessness, loneliness – and, moreover, the question of why a society allows it to be. It is magnificent how Federico Levín and Nico Lassalle succeed in presenting this story so forcefully, yet undramatically, without any explications, in just a few words. [JW]