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The Little Red Pen by Susan Stevens Crummel

The Little Red Pen (edition 2011)

by Susan Stevens Crummel, Janet Stevens, Janet Stevens (Illustrator)

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15418113,003 (3.9)None
Title:The Little Red Pen
Authors:Susan Stevens Crummel
Other authors:Janet Stevens, Janet Stevens (Illustrator)
Info:Harcourt Children's Books (2011), Hardcover, 56 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

Work details

The Little Red Pen by Janet Stevens



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The little red pen becomes exhausted from grading so many paper and falls into the trash can and needs help to come back out. The supplies in the desk as well as the hamster must come together and use teamwork to help the red pen come back to safety. Recommend for Kindergarten through third.
  gonzalr | Aug 26, 2017 |

The Little Red Pen grades papers. The piles on the desk are huge…overwhelming (in my teacher’s mind!). She calls to Stapler, Scissors, Pencil Eraser, Pushpin, and Highlighter for their help in grading all of these papers, but they take cover in the nearby drawer. The Little Red Pen tells them that if these papers are not graded, “the students won’t learn.” … “The sky might fall.” … “It might be the end of the world.” and more in between!! Excuses abound. “The Little Red Hen” tale is brought back to us on top of a desk instead of in the country making bread. “Not I, said the ….” all over again!

Tank, the lazy, overweight hamster, sleeping away, should be helping instead, or so thinks this excuse-laden cast.

With no help, the Little Red Pen goes off alone to grade the papers. As the night wears on, she tires more and more, loses her balance, and falls into “The Pit of No Return,” the wastepaper basket.

The rescue ensues and the papers get graded, but not without much tongue-in-cheek humor and the best,most delightful artwork.

This is a fun book: colorful, bold, silly. A great read-aloud! These wonderful sisters have given us another story which will bring smiles to your faces from each and every page.

Age Range: 6 – 9 Years

Grade Level: 1st – 4th


Susan Stevens Crummel was a math teacher for 31 years! As part of a Navy family, she lived all over the world. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree (major in Mathematics; minor in Physics) and Master’s Degree (Education) from Texas Christian University. She lives in Texas today.

Her husband, Richard, retired from education after 42 years (high school band director, principal, and superintendent). They have three grown children. You can find her @ http://www.susanscrummel.com

Janet Stevens co-authored this book. (See below for her biography.)


Janet Stevens began drawing as a child. Janet’s father was a Navy pilot, so moving and changing schools often was just their way of life.

Janet graduated from the University of Colorado in 1975 with a degree in Fine Arts. In 1977, she attended “The Illustrator’s Workshop” in New York City, where it was suggested that her characters might find a home in a children’s book. She pursued that avenue and we are blessed to find her wonderful art in libraries and home bookshelves near you! Janet is the author and illustrator of many original stories, plus, frequently, collaborating with her sister, Susan Stevens Crummel.

Janet has received numerous book awards, including a Caldecott Honor Award, Time Magazine’s Ten Best Children’s Books, the Wanda Gág Best Read-Aloud Book, Child Magazine’s Best Books of the Year. Her books have been named ALA Notables, have repeatedly appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, won many state awards, as well as the prestigious Texas Bluebonnet Award twice. You can find more @ http://janetstevens.com ( )
  lindalou924 | Apr 13, 2017 |
This story starts with a red pen trying to grade all of the student's work, but getting overwhelmed with how much work he has to do. He asks his friends pencil, stapler, scissor, and eraser to help him, but they refuse to help because they are worried about getting worn out and thrown in the trash. Then, red pen falls off the table and into the trash can. All of the other classroom objects then have to work together to get red pen out of the trash. Once he's out they all realize that the papers won't get finished just with red pen working on them, so they all work together and get the job done. ( )
  ShannonKearns23 | Feb 15, 2017 |
My favorite thing about this book are the illustrations! The way that the text is intertwined within the story is so cool. The text itself is fun to read with playful language. I think this would be a perfect read aloud book because the drawings are fun and involved with the playful text.
  chelseagarland | Dec 2, 2016 |
library copy ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 17, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stevens, Janetprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crummel, Susan Stevensmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 015206432X, Hardcover)

Poor Little Red Pen! She can't possibly correct a mountain of homework all by herself. Who will help her? "Not I!" says Stapler. "Not I!" says Eraser. "¡Yo no!" says Pushpin, AKA Señorita Chincheta. But when the Little Red Pen tumbles in exhaustion into the Pit of No Return (the trash!), her fellow school supplies must get themselves out of the desk drawer and work together to rescue her. Trouble is, their plan depends on Tank, the rotund class hamster, who's not inclined to cooperate. Will the Little Red Pen be lost forever?

There's no lack of trial and error, hilarious chaos, and creative problem-solving in this mission! Kids—and adults—will never see their school supplies in quite the same way again.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:40 -0400)

When a little red pen accidentally falls into the waste basket while trying to correct papers all by herself, the other classroom supplies must cooperate to rescue her.

(summary from another edition)

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