The Books

The Dot

by Peter H. Reynolds

Hardcover, 32 pages

Published by Candlewick (2003-09-15)

List Price: $15.00

Actual Price: $9.69

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Amazon Description

With a simple, witty story and free-spirited illustrations, Peter H. Reynolds entices even the stubbornly uncreative among us to make a mark — and follow where it takes us.

Her teacher smiled. "Just make a mark and see where it takes you."

Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw - she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. "There!" she says.

That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery. That special moment is the core of Peter H. Reynolds’s delicate fable about the creative spirit in all of us.

One Potato Review

This and Reynolds’ Ish have become little cult classics since they were published in 2003 and 2004 respectively, and not without merit. The author since published a couple of other beautiful looking stories that weren’t about art, and weren’t nearly so memorable. Maybe it’s noteworthy that here in the first of these bookends a girl who can hardly get anything done sees herself clear to fulfillment, while in Ish the boy who starts out prolifically sketching quickly finds himself in a rut. This is an artist writing (and drawing and painting) about the unlikely sources of artistic inspiration in a way that sounds personal as well as simply, deeply relevant to every kindergartner who could not get passionate about the regular art room assignment. There are lots of ways to be artistic apparently, the more personal the better. For second, third, and higher graders too. 

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