The dot

Peter H. Reynolds, 1961-

Book - 2003

Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher's encouragement leads her to change her mind.

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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press 2003.
Language
English
Main Author
Peter H. Reynolds, 1961- (-)
Edition
1st ed
Physical Description
unpaged : ill
ISBN
9780763619619
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

K-Gr. 2. Simplicity itself, like the dot in the title, this small book carries a big message. Vashti doesn't like her art class. She can't draw. So when her teacher tells her just to make a mark, Vashti belligerently hands in her paper with a single dot. But what a wise teacher Vashti has. She makes Vashti sign the paper, and then she frames it. Seeing her work on the wall encourages Vashti to do better, and she takes out her watercolors and begins experimenting with all sorts of dots. At a school show, her dots are a hit, and when a little boy tells her he can't draw, she invites him to make his own mark. The squiggle he puts down on paper gets him off and running. The pen-and-ink drawings accented with splotches of colorful circles aren't quite as minimalist as Vashti's work, but they reflect the same spareness and possibility. Art teachers might consider reading this at the beginning of each semester to quell the idea, "I can't draw." --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2003 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In this engaging, inspiring tale, Reynolds (illustrator of the Judy Moody series) demonstrates the power of a little encouragement. Minimal narrative and art elucidate the plight of Vashti, who sulks next to her blank paper at the end of art class: "I just can't draw!" The art teacher sagely responds, "Just make a mark and see where it takes you." The scowling girl takes a marker and jabs at her paper, making a minuscule dot. The teacher "pushed the paper toward Vashti and quietly said, `Now sign it.' " When Vashti returns the following week, her signed picture hangs in a gilded frame over her art teacher's desk, which inspires the budding painter to greater feats. A later spread, guaranteed to evoke smiles, reveals an extensive display of Vashti's dot paintings (and even a similarly themed sculpture) at the school art show, where a boy praises her for being "a really great artist." When he insists that he can't draw, she emulates her art teacher's example. Rendered in watercolor, ink and tea, Reynolds's spare, wispy illustrations exude a fresh, childlike quality pleasingly in sync with his hand-lettered text. Offering a rare balance of subtlety and hyperbole, this small-format volume should give reticent young artists a boost of confidence-and encourage spontaneity in their artistic expression. Reynolds pulls off exactly what his young heroine does, creating an impressive work from deceptively simple beginnings. Ages 5-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

This simple, circular story is the answer to every child who ever said, "I can't draw." Follow up by giving all students a piece of paper with their very own dot. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Convinced she's no good at art, a girl named Vashti angrily draws a single black dot, which her teacher frames, goading Vashti to outdo herself by creating a whole series of dot paintings in a myriad of colors and styles. Energetic cartoon illustrations and handwritten text make palatable the book's none-too-subtle message about nurturing creativity. From HORN BOOK Spring 2004, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Driven by the observation that most children lose their enthusiasm for making art as they get older, Reynolds prods a reluctant child into an eye-opening whirl of creativity. Asserting that she's no artist, Vashti angrily responds to a teacher's mild suggestion by dashing a small mark onto a big sheet of paper, then signing it. Seeing that sheet in a frame the next day, she mutters, "Hmmph! I can make a better dot than THAT!"--and proceeds to fill sheet after sheet with glorious arrays of splotches and blotches. In his own freely drawn pictures, Reynolds sets off Vashti's colorful creations by hanging them, in the subsequent art show, in front of human figures defined by neutral-toned washes. And Vashti passes on her new-found insight at the end, inviting a young admirer who ruefully claims that he can't draw a straight line to make a squiggle and sign it. This isn't going to create interest where there is none, but it may speak to formerly artistic young readers who are selling their own abilities short. (Picture book. 6-9) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.