I don't usually go to the Dollar Tree for pens and pencils. Staples is my venue of choice for those items. But I was shopping with a friend, and we stopped at the Dollar Tree because you just never know what you might find. To my delight, I found Cadoozles! It's a package of 9 mechanical pencils that look like real pencils, except they're in funky colors and have pictures that look like a 5 year old might draw. Or that I might draw. The package also has a pack of lead refills, and each pencil as an eraser.
I was afraid that they might not work very well, but I was wrong. The pencils work very well, and adding new lead is a snap. The erasers are the only downfall; they smudge rather than erase. But hey, at 9 for $1, I can use my big green eraser if I need to! They aren't ergonomically designed, but I don't write so much with pencils that I need them to be. Mostly I use them for Sudoku, and they are more than comfortable enough.
I'm sure these are intended for kids, not middle-aged women, but I don't much care. They're fun, they're happy, and they make me smile, so I'm going to keep using them. Although I may share one or two with my little neighbor.