Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Start with a Dot: A Journal for Making Your Mark

Start with a Dot: A Journal for Making Your Mark

Peter H. Reynolds
Drawing Book
For ages 6 and up
Harry N. Abrams, 2018   ISBN: 978-1419732584

Sometimes the biggest ‘wall’ standing in the way of creative expression is one that we create ourselves. Our doubts about our abilities, our efforts to be ‘perfect,’ and our fear of a blank piece of paper prevent us from taking that step into the creative unknown. Knowing all too well about these creativity-squelching issues, Peter Reynolds - the author of Dot, Ish and many other books - has created this journal to help people free their inner creative voice.

You may not know this, but if you can make dot you can be creative. This may seem ridiculously simplistic, but it is nevertheless the truth. All you need to begin are the materials that you would like to use to create your first dot. Pencils, markers, dot stickers, an ink pad, these are all kinds of things you are going to need.

Once you have chosen your preferred dot-making tool make a dot, and when you have done that make another in the gold frame that Peter has drawn for you. Now sign your framed dot and beam with pride!

Peter goes on to encourage us to make a big dot, two identical dots, and “dots of many colors.” We are told to “let your dots flow.” We get to makes dots in our favorite colors and then a dot that is furry, a dot that is delicate, a cross-hatch dot, and a swirl of dots. We get to look at our dots and consider them. And admire them too!

We then go on to create dot designs, dots that have lines added to them, and then dots that have other things added to them that turn them into other things. A line here and a swirl there and your dot has become a bird or a king. It can have a face, be a planet, a clock. A series of dots can even represent the beats in a piece of music.

Peter then takes us on a journey that looks at lines of all kinds. Don’t worry though because a line is simply a dot that has been taken “for a walk.”

With touches of humor, and great insight into what blocks creativity, Peter Reynolds gives children and adults a journal that will surely set them free. They will get the permission that they need to find their own creative voice, and they will be able explore it in a guilt free, pressure free environment that is all their own.

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