Daniel loves to draw, but he is a loner. He has one good friend in school, Annie. She is a tomboy who suits him fine. Every day Daniel’s mother asks if he has made any new friends, but Daniel is perfectly happy spending his time with Annie, and working on his favorite pastime, drawing. At home, Daniel is tormented by his sister, Lila’s, boyfriend, Tommy.
One day, Daniel breaks his pencil while drawing and goes searching for a replacement. He finds a pencil stump in the attic. When he begins drawing, Daniel is astounded when the cat he draws comes to life. Daniel continues to draw a pizza robot, aliens from the planet, Beezo, October, who is half octopus and half bear, and SAP, smart amazing pants. Daniel eventually tells Annie about his treasure. She is angry that he won’t share it with her.
Now Annie ignores Daniel. He is sad and frustrated. Daniel confides in his mother. She gives him some good advice. One day Annie is bullied on the school playground. How will Daniel react? Will Annie ever forgive Daniel?
This is a fun middle-grade read. It has lots of humor, fantasy, authentic sibling and peer-school conflicts, and two nicely developed protagonists in Daniel and Annie who face common preteen problems. It also discusses how to handle bullying. Recommended especially for boys and girls ages eight through twelve.