Tired of having only imaginary companions, Jeremy seeks out real friends, in this marvelous and comic tale of the consolations and limits of our imaginations.
The New York Times
Where Harold used his purple crayon to get out of scrapes, Jeremy's blue pen causes him problems after he designs a cantankerous, linebacker-sized monster who demands a long list of items before commanding, “Draw me a hat. I'm going out!” Jeremy draws a magnificent red top hat and the monster waddles out the door, only to return later that night and commandeer the bed. “The next morning, Jeremy drew a bus ticket and a suitcase,” and he last sees his tormentor watching him from the bus's back window. McCarty, who favored atmospheric, silver-gray pencil drawings in books like Moon Plane, floats this story's action in white negative space. Yet even if the pen, ink and watercolor illustrations have a sharper edge, the monster's wide-set pinprick eyes and squat, potato-shaped body echo McCarty's Hondo and Fabian. The monster is obnoxious, but it's also a catalyst: after it leaves, Jeremy quits his seclusion and plays with other kids. Jeremy's creation has attitude to spare and although it's annoying, readers may lament its hasty departure. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Jeremy lives in a room at the top of a three-story building. Looking out his window, he can observe children playing ball in the yard below, but he never leaves his room. One day, he picks up his fancy pen and draws a huge monster. The monster turns out to be demanding and rude. He tells Jeremy to draw a sandwich, a toaster, a record player, and more and more. Finally, he asks for a hat. Jeremy obliges. The monster puts the hat on and walks out the door. A relieved Jeremy goes to bed, only to be awakened by the sound of loud banging in the night. A befuddled Jeremy watches the monster sleeping in his bed. The next morning, Jeremy draws a one-way ticket and escorts the monster to an "Out of Town" bus. Since he is now outside, Jeremy's neighbors invite him to play ball. Illustrations in mostly pastel shades stand out against stark white backgrounds. The endpapers feature the sketches which were apparently drawn in the creation of the story. This is an imaginative tale for young children. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—In the tradition of Crockett Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon (HarperCollins, 1955), McCarty delivers a character who draws objects to life. This story, however, has a modern touch and an interesting psychological twist. Readers meet Jeremy, a blond, spike-haired boy garbed in a pink-striped shirt emblazoned with a large 3, alone in his third-floor apartment, gazing at a group of children playing ball below. The text reads, "He had his very own room. He never left. He never went outside." But Jeremy does have a fancy pen, and one day he conjures up a robust blue monster that, in short order, demands a sandwich, a checkerboard, a television, and a hot dog, which Jeremy and his pen quickly supply. Soon the novelty wears off and when the monster demands a hat because he is "going out," Jeremy is relieved to see him go. The monster returns, but Jeremy takes charge and when he departs for good, the neighborhood children gather—"Do you want to play ball?" they ask, and indeed Jeremy does. McCarty matches his understated story with both black-and-white and color illustrations that flow loosely across ample white space; the openness of the images gives just the right feel to the tale. The monster is not particularly scary, and the balance of power, which comes not from might but from Jeremy's ingenuity, is the book's strength. Both story and illustration leave lots of room for speculation and discussion; children will love to pore over the endpapers, as well.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
With simplicity and quiet depth, a boy creates a challenge and meets it. In Jeremy's isolated corner of his "three-story apartment building," the pen-lined black-and-red bricks are dark and detailed, while on the other end, color and shading fade into blankness. This illustrative pattern continues throughout: Generous white space spotlights and protects the sparse figures and objects, giving them clarity. Jeremy (with a pen, Harold-like) draws a blue monster with a self-entitled personality. "Draw me a sandwich," it demands, then a toaster, checkerboard, telephone and hat, never saying thank you. It departs (Jeremy's relief is palpable) but returns and displaces Jeremy from bed. A pale-blue watercolor square, superimposed over the bed and free-floating window, gently connotes nighttime. McCarty's distilled text doesn't spell out intention, but "The next day, Jeremy drew a bus ticket and a suitcase." Seeing the monster off onto an out-of-town bus leaves Jeremy next to a group of watercolor children with varying pen-lined hair. They invite him to play and he accepts-monster gone, loneliness banished. Neat and unassuming. (Picture book. 3-6)
From the Publisher
“Tired of having only imaginary companions, Jeremy seeks out real friends, in this marvelous and comic tale of the consolations and limits of our imaginations.” New York Times Book Review
“With simplicity and quiet depth, a boy creates a challenge and meets it… Neat and unassuming.” Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“Both story and illustration leave lots of room for speculation and discussion; children will love to pore over the endpapers, as well.” School Library Journal, Starred Review
“The finely rendered pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations skillfully delineate characters and objects, which stand out against full-page white spaces, most impressively with the blue, blobby, squiggly, horned monster himself. A topnotch Harold and the Purple Crayon for a new generation.” Booklist
“[An] inventive story with fabulous illustrations.” San Francisco Chronicle