The Dot
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The Dot

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  8,680 ratings  ·  792 reviews
Just make a mark and see where it takes you. Vashti says she can't draw, but her teacher thinks she can. She knows there's creative spirit in everyone, and encourages Vashti to sign the angry dot she makes in frustration on a piece of paper.
Published August 1st 2008 by Walker Books Ltd (first published January 1st 2003)
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Dec 02, 2009 Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Katie
Another delightful story by Reynolds, in a very similar vein as Ish (which I absolutely adored!).

Here we find a young child who "Can't draw" anything. Supposedly. But when the teacher gets our protagonist to draw a dot and then "sign it" - well, one thing leads to another and the dots become more and more elaborate.

This is a great book to inspire creativity in kids who think they "can't" something. If the beauty of art is in the eye of the beholder, then this illustrates that so long as you're e...more
Vashti thinks she is no good at art, but an encouraging teacher helps her to enjoy herself. The teacher's approach seemed more focused on self-esteem than actual art skills, but I guess that's more the more important thing for young kids.

This was cute, and I liked the bit at the end with Vashti encouraging another child, but there are several similar books I think are better, including the same author's Ish.
The problem with an old teacher is she has so many experiences that connect to almost anything anywhere anytime. And The Dot reminds me of a time when I was teaching first graders, and I encouraged them to paint. I gave them each of the primary colors one color at a time. The day I gave them two was the day of discovery, like the girl in the book. But more importantly, to the chagrin of the principal, I displayed all paintings. Each little artist enjoyed the experience from the girl who drew a t...more
Rashanda Ravenel
This book is helpful in initiating creativity of a student who may need some help getting inspired. It encourages peer interaction and social skills. It is a testimony to children learning differently and being inspired in different ways. It makes me think on how important it is to build from children's current level by changing the teaching method to meet their needs.

Art class was over and Vashti was sad because her piece of paper was completely blank. The teacher said"Ah! A polar bear in a snowstorm!" Vashti didn't laugh. (Feeling: Sad Conflict: Person vs. self/person vs. person)

The art teacher told Vashti to draw a dot. Vashti jabbed a dot. "Now sign it" the teacher ordered. (Feeling: Confused Conflict: Person vs. Person)

The next day Vashti went in the art room and saw her drawing of the dot and her name signed, framed in a swirly gold frame. "Hmm...more
Add The Dot to my list of favorite books! As someone who can regularly be heard denouncing any ability to draw, stay inside the lines of coloring pages, or paint something that doesn’t result in a murky blob, Peter Reynolds’ simple fable about personal creativity and artistic acceptance has filled me with hope.

Vashti believes she cannot draw, but when her teacher gently tells her to “just make a mark,” she jabs at a blank sheet of paper and signs her name. The next week, her art teacher has fram...more
Lisa Vegan
Nov 19, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: art teachers, teachers, parents, kids, adults, creative types & those who think they aren’t
Recommended to Lisa by: Luann
I had just read the book Ish, also by this author/illustrator, and then was alerted to this book, which was published first.

I think that I might like Ish slightly more, but only very slightly. This is a wonderful book too.

This is an attractive book. The author hand lettered the text and illustrated the book with watercolor, ink, and tea. Yes, tea! Painting with tea is so clever! I like modern art and I enjoyed the illustrations.

The story is what art should be about, it’s how art should be taugh...more
Read this one when it came in to the library as a return today.

At the end of class, Vashti is still sitting in her desk with a blank sheet of paper and no idea what to draw. Her teacher tells her to just make a mark and see where it takes her. So she takes a breath and makes a single dot in the center of her paper. Her teacher responds, "sign it, please." The next day the picture is framed on the teacher's wall. Inspired, Vashti becomes a fantastic artist using ... dots. At the end, a little bo...more
Nov 24, 2009 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: budding artists, frustrated artists, teachers of all subjects, fans of "Ish"
I'm not sure I liked this one quite as much as "Ish" but that could just be because I read "Ish" first and was so refreshed by the story encouraging a child's artistic freedom and creativity. Still, I will give this one five stars for the same purpose! ;-) It's amazing how art can blossom from a dot!
9/9/13 ** I first heard ish read aloud at a conference several years ago. I heard about The Dot when I read Colby Sharp's blog post about celebrations that he'd have with his students around literacy, passionate reading, and books this year. Thanks Colby for highlighting International Dot Day and the celebration of creativity and "making one's mark."

My students and spent the week reading the three books in this series (the third is Sky Color) along with other books about people who've made their...more
From School Library Journal: -"Just make a mark and see where it takes you." This sage advice, offered by her intuitive, intelligent teacher, sets our young heroine on a journey of self-expression, artistic experimentation, and success. First pictured as being enveloped by a blue-and-gray miasma of discouragement and dejection, Vashti seems beaten by the blank paper before her. It is her defeatist declaration, "I just CAN'T draw," that evokes her teacher's sensitive suggestion. Once the child ta...more
Nida Iftekaruddin
Grade/interest level: K-2
Reading level: 500L
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Main Characters: Vashti, teacher
Setting: School
POV: Third Person


Vashti is in her art class, frustrated at the fact that she does not know how to draw. She stares at her paper in anger. Her teacher approaches her and tells her to put anything at all on her paper. Vashti angrily stabs her paper with a pencil and creates a tiny dot in the middle of her page. Her teacher urges her to sign her name, which she does. The next...more
This fun, light-hearted book demonstrates the power of positive influence. Rather than dismissing or giving up on Vashti and her artwork, her teacher encourages her to explore her potential. Even a simple dot can be seen as art, and the teacher demonstrates pride in Vasthi's dot when she has Vashti sign the sheet and take ownership of her work. To use a common teacher phrase, Vashti is recognized as "at promise" rather than "slow" or "behind" or "struggling". The teacher's encouragement leads Va...more
I really liked this book. It is useful to teach so many things.

Quick overview: A student, Vashti, who does not want to do her artwork because she believes she cannot draw, simply turns in a single dot for her project. After appreciation and encouragement from her teacher about the artwork, Vashti starts experimenting with her art. She creates a gallery of "dot" art. In the end she shows off her work and even passes her wisdom to a fan of her art.

This book is great for the students and the teac...more
Awesome book! if you have not read do it! It really makes you want to go out and try something new that you think you might be bad at, but you never will know if you don't try!

Vashti is very frustrated in her art class and by the time class is over she has nothing on her paper. She says she doesn’t know how to draw, but her teacher tells her she needs to put something on her paper so she slaps a small dot in the middle of the page. Her teacher then tells her she must sign her name at the...more
Alex Alfaro
I thought it was interesting that a book focusing on art has such simple illustrations. Like the tone of the story, the illustrations slowly get brighter and more colorful, but for the most part, they are simple and gray. The book starts off with a frustrated student who thinks that she is bad at art. However, instead of telling Vashti that her work will improve, Vashti’s art teacher accepts the simple dot that she drew, asks Vashti to sign it, and then frames her artwork. By framing Vashti’s wo...more
Genre: Picture Book, Concept

Summary: Vashti just can't think of anything to draw until her teacher dares her to try, and what develops is a surge of self discovery.

A. The representation of the teacher in this book makes me, as a teacher, want to strive to want more for my students.

B. Vashti is feeling uncreative and defeated as art class comes to a close. However, her teacher knows there is more that Vashti has to give and by giving her just a little push, Vashti can see her true potential. I lo...more
This hand-lettered book, the first in the series "Creatrilogy," is all about encouragement of artistic self-expression. Vashti doesn't believe she has any ability to create. With a small invitation to "just make a mark and see where it takes you" by her teacher, she begins a journey that leads to art that is all her own.

The creativity in each of us needs encouraging. I truly know that. From just a word, a push, a smile, blossoms can bloom. It is not just about drawing or painting either. Writin...more
Asalyn Holliday
This book is absolutely adorable. I love it's lesson that you shouldn't put yourself down based on what you see other people doing. The way the teacher displayed her dot on the wall to encourage her to keep trying and show her she was an artist made me think of our class discussion about how made up spelling when learning to write is okay. We shouldn't correct the student or compare their work to others but rather praise them for what they have done well and encourage them to keep growing.
Simon Joseph
The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds, is the inspiring story of Vashti, a young girl with no confidence in her ability to draw.

When her teacher encourages her to just 'make a mark and see where it takes you,' Vashti responds by stubbornly jabbing her pen into a piece of paper. The teacher doesn't miss a beat, by calmly asking her to sign under her 'dot', and the next time Vashti sees the paper, it has been put in a gilded frame. Still defiant, she resolves to show her teacher she can do an even better...more
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The Dot is a simple picture book that has such deep meaning. Vashti a student who feels she can't draw until her art teacher encourages her to start with a simple mark and see where it takes you. Vashti draws a simple dot and her teacher tells her to sign it. Vashti's teacher praises and emphasizes on her students simple growth and success which helps build up Vashti's confidence. Her simple dot is now framed and she is encouraged to draw more and more! Now she loves art and knows she CAN draw....more
Martin Carberry
I have read this book and really enjoyed it. The dot is a simple book that explores the huge problem of children thinking that they are unable to draw but Peter Reynolds makes it an entertaining tale. "I just can't draw!" says Vashti. Her sensitive teacher shows her a way to explore making art without getting hung up on details. Her first step is to get Vashti to make a mark on the paper, the second step is to have her sign it, and the third is to frame it; there's the art market in a nutshell....more
Zequoia Hyche
Hands down this has to be the best children's book that I have read in a long time. I enjoyed the message this story portrayed, not only that but it is a great book to show children that it is okay to be different. Every child is unique and special in their own way and every child has an opportunity to make a mark in life. Whether their mark is through art or sports, don't give up because you may actually find your gift. I love this book and I think its relevant for not just children, but for pe...more
This book's visual appeal makes a simple dot the center of attention. Throughout the book, it is black and white except the colored dots created on each page. The dot on each page gets gradually bigger, creating more importance to the story plot. The dot is not always creatd by the character Vashti, but is used in creative ways like in the title on the title page and as a boarder for some of the pictures throughout the book.
This book is a lesson for teachers, in how a little encouragement in the...more
Oct 18, 2009 Courtney added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: elementary, art teachers
Shelves: mlis-565, art
This is a great little story on the topic of subtle motivation of children. A little girl thinks she can't draw so she refuses to try. The teacher in the story cleverly recognizes all childrens' creative inclinations and showcases the girl's artwork. This fosters confidence in the little girl. She in turn begins to love art and help others find their own inspiration.

I am drawn to this book from the point of view of both an educator and artist. I am always concerned that we as teachers foster a l...more
Megan Phillips
The Dot is one of my favorite books of all time. I nearly cried the first time I read it. It is the lovely story about a girl that does not feel like she can create art until her art teacher frames her signed pictured of a dot.

This book could be used to show students that they can have opinions that change. The girl thought she was not an artist, yet by the end of the book she felt she was an excellent artist. The girl gained a great amount of self-confidence from creating many pictures with do...more
Kristin Hamrock
This was a great book for students who are doubting themselves when it comes to anything school related or anything in life in general. The main character says the infamous words, "I can't," when she is asked to draw a picture for art class. With a little boost from her teacher, she finds that she is able to draw, and even goes above and beyond by entering her work in an art show. She goes on to inspire and encourage other students who are feeling the same way that she did before she created her...more
Technically, I didn't read this one; it was read to me by the author at the MLA Youth Services Section meeting.

1) It's lovely having authors deliver the keynote speeches at librarian events. Everyone likes to be told how wonderful and necessary they are for an hour or so.

2) If you ever have the opportunity to see Peter Reynolds speak or, better yet, host him in your school/library, do it. Do it now! Stop reading this review and go!

3) You know, sometimes I think the simplest books may be the most...more
Karen Hammond
This is a fun lighthearted book with simple illustrations, and for the uncreative amongst us it encourages us to explore creativity.

Art class is over but one child hasn’t made any marks on her paper, however, her teacher just smiled. "Just make a mark and see where it takes you."
The child makes a single dot mark and the teacher encourages her to sign it. The next week, the art teacher has framed the dot, and the action sets the child on a journey of artistic freedom and self-discovery that help...more
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Peter Hamilton Reynolds is an author and illustrator of children's books and is the co-Founder and CEO of educational media company FableVision.
More about Peter H. Reynolds...
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