Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Dot

The Dot

Peter H. Reynolds
Picture Book  Series
For ages 5 and up
Candlewick Press, 2003   ISBN: 978-0763619619

Vashti is in a very bad mood because she has not managed to produce anything in her art class. A blank piece of paper lies before her. Vashti is sure that she “just can’t draw” and she does not even want to try. Her teacher suggests that she should “make a mark and see where it takes you.” In a fit of pique Vashti draws a dot, signs her work, and calls it quits.

To Vashti’s amazement her teacher frames the single dot picture. Vashti cannot help thinking that she could improve on this rather sad little effort. So she gets out paper and paints and she begins to create dots of all kinds. Why she even creates a dot which is many feet high. Soon Vashti’s dots are being greatly admired at the school art show and at this event Vashti meets a fan who wishes he could draw. With a smile Vashti sets about helping him find his way.

In this delightfully simple story Peter H. Reynolds helps his rapt audience see that its takes confidence to take that first step towards creative self expression. After all if you don’t try, you will never find out what you can do.

This powerful little picture book will not only help nudge younger readers in the right direction but it will also give older readers the courage that they need to take their first step towards becoming an artist, musician, or writer. Spare yet expressive ink, watercolor, and tea illustrations bring Vashti’s journey to life, and even the most reluctant readers will be hard pressed not to smile as they see how Vashti changes from being a scowling little girl into a child who has something to give.