The Obstinate Pen

Frank W. Dormer; illustrations by Frank W. Dormer

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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. . . .


Praise for The Obstinate Pen

"...a surefire readaloud selection…”--BCCB


"In the hands of any person even remotely not to the pen's liking, it will write only such words as it wishes. These, to the delight of the reader, tend to be both comically candid and scathingly insulting."--Wall Street Journal


“In telling the clever story of a pen with a mind of its own, Dormer bridges the gap between youthful precocity and adult sophistication, and makes a very good point about artistic inspiration along the way.”--New York Times

"Children will enjoy the warm humor and silly-but-smart writing in this book..."--School Library Journal

“A book as much fun to engage as it is simply to follow.”-Kirkus

"...in this congenial company [the obstinate pen] finds its true purpose in life.”--Horn Book, starred

Praise for Socksquatch:

“Dormer’s hilarious, spot-on watercolor-and-ink illustrations make a monsterful hit with Socksquatch.” —School Library Journal

“The writing debut of illustrator Dormer has plenty of comic sensibility to go along with his signature scratchy line-and-watercolor illustrations. . . . While youngsters will definitely enjoy listening to this one in a crowd, don’t be surprised if they borrow it afterwards to reenact with a friend.” —BCCB

“Dormer’s (Supersister) naïf cartooning and simple silliness make this the kind of book that will probably get requested again and again.” —Publishers Weekly

“All expectations fall at the feet of the monsters, and they do not disappoint.” —Kirkus Reviews


In the Press

Four New Picture Books About Harnessing Creativity - NYTimes.com
Four new picture books offer lessons in harnessing creativity and aiming it with purpose.
- The New York Times
THE OBSTINATE PEN by Frank W. Dormer, Frank W. Dormer | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of THE OBSTINATE PEN . A pen speaks the truth to a series of self-involved townsfolk in this pleasingly eccentric treat from Dormer.
- Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Frank W. Dormer; illustrations by Frank W. Dormer

  • Frank Dormer graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in illustration.  He now divides his time between teaching and book illustration. He has created art for several children's books, including Socksquatch, his first book as both an author and illustrator. [frankwdormer.com]


Available Formats and Book Details

The Obstinate Pen

Frank W. Dormer; illustrations by Frank W. Dormer



Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)