Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Obstinate Pen” as Want to Read:
The Obstinate Pen
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Obstinate Pen

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  375 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
This is what Uncle Flood wants to write with his new pen: The following story is all true.

But the pen does not write that sentence. Instead it writes: You have a big nose!

Who knows what to do with a pen that has a will of its own?
Not Uncle Flood.
Not Officer Wonkle.
But young Horace has an idea...
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Obstinate Pen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Obstinate Pen

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 601)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
David Schaafsma
Dec 13, 2014 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Somewhat in the manner of Harold and the Purple Crayon or Journey, the medium becomes the message.. or, the means to artistic expression takes over.. or, an obstinate pen refuses to do what the child writer wants it to tell and instead writes silly stuff like "you have a big nose" or when the policeman borrows it from the kid, it writes, "kiss that lady." Now, one might hope for something more than just silliness when the pen gets obstinate, but silly is sometimes good, too.
Jul 29, 2012 Elisabeth rated it really liked it
This book was so silly. Good silly, like Shel Silverstein. It will be super great read aloud for the big kids storytime.
Full disclosure: I've known this book since it was a doodle. But really, how can you NOT love a book with a title like this?
What if you found a pen that only wrote the truth...not YOUR version of the truth, not the truth you try to convince yourself of...the TRUTH. That's what this one does. It interferes in the lives of people who find it and try to write...a memoir, a ticket...the pen tells the truth to all. Some characters ignore, some follow the pen's advice, some are enchanted.

But only one person works with the pen, creating truth...Lots of big questions here. This one would be fun to share in a secondary class
Apr 26, 2012 Cathy rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I love going to office supply stores. I love walking the rows of pens and finding just the right one - blue ink, a delicate shape, heavy enough to feel like something, not so heavy it tires the hand. The right pen is like the right shoes - Ahhhhh. The best of pens should keep the writer honest, it should encourage daring, it should tell the truth. Will your pen do all of those things for you or will it tell you to "Go hug a porcupine?" Frank W. Dormer's latest picture book The Obstinate Pen made ...more
Rachel M
Mar 02, 2016 Rachel M rated it really liked it
Aug 28, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
A lovely pen makes its way from owner to owner because it refuses to write what it is told.

The whole idea of a pen that writes insults instead of what a person wants is hilarious. The reactions of the different people to this pen were great, too - I especially loved the police officer who kissed the woman he was trying to write a ticket to because the pen told him to.
Mrs. Gabrielle Zastrow's
Mar 12, 2014 Mrs. Gabrielle Zastrow's rated it it was amazing
Why did we like this story? It was a funny, silly book that inspired many of us to write about other obstinate objects!!! We also made SMASH journal pages from the point of view of the sassy, obstinate PEN!!!

Story Map

Who is this book about? The Pen

Where and When does the story take place? Takes place in a city and at homes during the day.

What is the problem? The Pen will not write what it is suppose to. It is obstinate.

What are the three events/failures to try to fix the problem?
1. Horace's Uncl
Oct 18, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
No wonder some people have trouble writing. It's the pen's fault!!! Seriously, this book is funny. If you're a writer, think you're a writer, would like to be a writer, you need to read this book. If you think writing is horrible and stupid, you should read this book, too.
Jacquelin Devlin
Mar 02, 2014 Jacquelin Devlin rated it it was amazing
This is brilliant. And it isn't only children who think things that can't be said. Nuff said.
Apr 18, 2013 Barbara rated it really liked it
Horace's Uncle Flood is all set to write with his new pen, but when he sets pen to paper, the pen writes whatever it wants rather than following the dictates of the person who wields it. In fact, the pen even insults Uncle Flood who ends up tossing it out the window. From there, it stirs up a little romance between Officer Wonkle and Miss Glenda Weeble and becomes the star of a dinner party at the house of Mrs. Norkham Pigeon-Smythe who hides it away. When the pen finally comes into the hands of ...more
Interesting. And funny. I enjoyed the story and liked seeing what the pen wrote instead of what the people tried to make it write. I liked the ending--didn't expect tghat at all. I think the preschool kids might enjoy it. Not sure how much they'd get, but I would assume they would see the humor in what the pen was writing. Maybe? I'll have to see.

5/9/12 For me last book with my smaller than usual group, it was either this book of "Sniffles for Bear." I worried that the latter would have some jok
Jun 13, 2014 Danielle rated it liked it
The Obstinate Pen is a fictional story about a pen that has a mind of its own. In this story there is a pen that gets passed from person to person because the owners get fed up with it not writing the things they try to write,so they end up getting rid of the pen in some way. I did not feel that this book was well written. This book could teach about perspectives and to laugh when you want to cry or are upset.
Jun 11, 2014 Nina rated it liked it
A pen with a mind of its own! The story begins with Uncle Flood buying a new pen so he can write a story. Uncle Flood then excitedly writes down a sentence, "The following story is all true," but those aren't the words that appear on the paper. Instead the pen writes insults at him, no matter how many times he tries to write the same sentence. Frustrated, he throws the pen out the window where it is found by a police officer. Officer Wonkle tries to issue a citation to a young woman, but instead ...more
Mary Raccuia
Uncle Flood gets a new pen and is excited to write his story. But the pen has a mind of it's own. Instead of writing what Uncle Flood wants to write it writes something naughty instead. Out the window it goes meeting and writing some pretty clever words. This delightful read out loud book is fun for young readers .
Jun 27, 2014 Reesha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I think this book is really funny!
I like how this book is not about a character, it is about a pen. Also, the pen is characterised to be as cheeky as the children. My favourite line is "Kiss that girl!". I would recommend this book to children that like mischief.
Jan Rue
May 27, 2013 Jan Rue added it
Shelves: ed-689-books
Written by Frank W. Dormer. (2012) New York: Henry Holt & Co. Illustrations were done in watercolor, pen and mixed media. This is a great picture book and is written about from the pen's point of view. He does not want to write what people want him to write. He goes is on way and get mad at others wanting him to write something specific. Then a little boy admires the pen and he lets the boy write what he wants to write, using the pen as it was suppose to do. It would be a great book to have ...more
Jan 22, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
I read this out loud to my 3 daughters and I thought it was silly and funny but they didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I did. It definitely is a good read aloud book and hopefully the audience is more lively than mine was.
May 12, 2012 Elena rated it really liked it
This book is so much fun! It doesn't talk down to kids, but has a sense of humor that will appeal to both kids and their kid-at-heart parents/caregivers.

It stars an obstinate pen that won't write what its users want it to write. For instance, when an police officer finds the pen and tries to use it to write a ticket to one Miss Glenda Weeble, instead of her name, the pen writes, "Kiss that girl!"

The pen encounters several characters who would be fun to voice while reading the story aloud.

I would
Feb 18, 2016 Jenna rated it liked it
Did not get to reading this book for today's storytime session, as I'm losing my voice. But I liked reading it by myself and it was a story that I'm sure will make the kids giggle. Fun drawings as well.
Jul 21, 2015 Brittany rated it liked it
This was one of today's picks at story time in the park. It's a silly book about a pen that just won't write what it's supposed to. The kids were getting a kick out of it and the illustrations looked fun.
Michael Fitzgerald
Aug 31, 2015 Michael Fitzgerald rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The illustrations are not much to speak of. The story is kind of lacking. There are a few nice points, particularly names like Mrs. Norkham Pigeon-Smythe and her driver, Druthers.
Apr 24, 2014 Dale rated it liked it
A nice read just to introduce a new vocab word; and for a creative idea. Would be interesting to read alongside Griffiths' 'Pencil of Doom' to draw comparisons between the stories.
Christie Angleton
Apr 30, 2014 Christie Angleton rated it it was ok
It was okay. I didn't so much love the part where the pen encouraged the police officer to kiss the lady. I really don't know if I like it enough to put it in my classroom.
Jan 04, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
What a sense of humor! I loved this book. Various characters pick up this pen, and attempt to write their thoughts. However, the pen only writes The Truth! Or, at least the truthful opinion of the pen. The best character is Mrs. Floofy Pants, or Mrs. Pigeon-Smythe by her true name. She cracks up at the pen, just as I did with this book. The illustrations are fun and engaging. That is one aspect of the book that I enjoyed. It is visually appealing and engaging. I always enjoy the book more if you ...more
Sep 25, 2015 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A fun read aloud for older kiddos as the pen insults all the snooty people who try to use it. Super fun for voices and also interesting words.
Ms Threlkeld
Jun 29, 2014 Ms Threlkeld rated it really liked it
A delightful story about a pen that refuses to write what the owner intends. Quirky illustrations, too.
Jan 21, 2015 Tabitha rated it it was amazing
Such a great, comical children's book! I loved the style of the illustrations too.
Robert Beveridge
Jul 05, 2012 Robert Beveridge rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished, cle-pub-lib
Frank W. Dormer, The Obstinate Pen (Henry Holt, 2012)

Funny, smart, sarcastic book about a pen that knows its own mind and isn't afraid to say it. Every time someone picks up the pen and tries to write with it, the pen says something different, causing varying reactions in the story's characters. I would have liked to see this one a little longer; it suffered from the current strictures on books written for the pre-literary set (which seem to consist of “make it short”, “make it shorter”, and “ma
Sharon Lawler
Mar 03, 2014 Sharon Lawler rated it liked it
This pen knows what it wants, and there will be no compromise!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 21 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Magritte's Marvelous Hat
  • Chloe and the Lion
  • House Held Up by Trees
  • Crafty Chloe
  • Infinity and Me
  • A Home for Bird
  • Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building
  • Homer
  • Heroes of the Surf
  • Step Gently Out
  • hello! hello!
  • Kel Gilligan's Daredevil Stunt Show
  • Squid and Octopus Friends for Always
  • Sophie's Fish
  • Good News, Bad News
  • Lester's Dreadful Sweaters
  • Little Bird
  • Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems

Share This Book