Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dotty” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  204 ratings  ·  55 reviews
It’s Ida’s first day of school. She carries her new lunch box and a long, blue string with her special friend Dotty attached to it. A big, colorfully spotted pal with horns, Dotty just happens to be invisible. On that first day of school, Ida and Dotty find out there are plenty of other imaginary friends in attendance. But as the year passes and fewer and fewer imaginary f ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Harry N. Abrams
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dotty, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dotty

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 347)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Seems to me that picture books get split into very particular genres pretty quickly. I actually keep lists of them on my computer at work, depending on how many requests I receive. There are the Bully picture books. The Dinosaur picture books. The People in Our Community picture books. And then there are two genres that sometimes get split up and sometimes merge together. These would be the Invisible Friend picture books and the Starting School picture books. Now you'll see a fair amount of brin ...more
Ida brings her imaginary friend/pet Dotty to school, where they meet her new classmates as well as their imaginary friends/pets. Everyone has something a little different, and occasionally they act up/out or misbehave and get their human friends into trouble. Dotty is large and bovine-esque with beautiful glittery red spots. One of the other friends is just a mad scribble with stick arms and legs (she can be kind of chatty). As the school year goes on, fewer and fewer kids bring their friends to ...more
Mary Ann
I clearly remember one of my daughters talking about her imaginary friend, Juan. She was very matter of fact about Juan, and very certain about it. She was about 2 or 3, in her first year of preschool when friendships were just developing.

Do you remember that stage, when children start playing with their friends, not just side by side? But fast forward to kindergarten - how do all these imaginary friends make that transition? How can we make space for our children's imagination as they enter the
Wherever Ida goes, Dotty goes too. Even on her first day of school, Dotty comes along: huge, horned and covered in red spots. Once Ida is at school, she realizes that many of the others in her class have brought their own imaginary friends too. But as the year goes on, the other children start to leave their imaginary friends behind. Ida though is still connected to Dotty, still carrying the blue string that ties them together. Eventually, the other children tease Ida about Dotty, even the child ...more
Ida takes her imaginary cow, Dotty, to school with her. But that's okay because Dotty gets along with all the other imaginary animals in Ms. Raymond's class. But as Ida's friends' imaginary animals move on, Ida is reluctant to let Dotty go. Finally, Dotty pushes (really, it's Ida) another girl for making fun of her. Ms. Raymond helps the girls accept responsibility for their actions while letting Ida know that it's okay for Dotty to stick around.

I'm a teacher and of course, I love a story in whi
Loved this book about imaginary friends that never actually says the words "imaginary friends." Some you outgrow, some you push away, and some you have forever (when you get to the end, go back and look for Gert in some earlier scenes).

I thought perhaps this was the same illustrator as Ladybug Girl, but it's the similarly whimsical style of Julia Denos, who just illustrated Just Being Audrey. Charming, charming, charming.
Perl has pictured a little piece of childhood here, and she nails it solid. She shows us the inside of Ida's heart and mind as she struggles with the dilemma of staying faithful to her beloved Dotty or succumbing to peer pressure. The last page is a beautiful ending, as well, and encouraging to our little ones who cling to their beloved invisible friends.

My older daughter had an invisible friend named John Prancin that she sometimes met for meat and chips and cheese at our favorite Mexican resta
Pretty sweet, I gotta say. Ida brings her imaginary friend Dotty to school and for the first few months this isn't a problem. The other kids really take to Dotty. Then as the school year progresses she begins to be left behind. Everyone else abandons their invisible friends, leaving Ida alone with just Dotty. When a fight breaks out in the playground over Dotty's existence, it's up to Ida's teacher to put things right and confess to a secret friend of her own. The story by Perl is sweet but it's ...more
Do you remember when you had an imaginary friend? Dotty is an incredible story about a girl and her Dotty. Going to school is so much more fun when someone you trust is with you. I love the glitter on the cover and the artistry of the drawings. Ida is a girl anyone can relate to and I love this picture book. It is a keeper for our shelf and I look forward to reading it year after year.

*Thanks to Abrams Books for providing a copy for review.*

Originally reviewed:
This was a fun, engaging story. I loved that Ms. Raymond help Ida stay true to herself and didn't try to explain away imaginary friends. The illustrations are wonderful (I love Dotty in the snow) and help keep the story light. I also like how Ida looks older than a preschool student ... that will help kids see themselves as "mature."

To read our full review (complete with the kids' opinions!) go to The Reading Tub.
At first this seems like a straight-forward book for kindergartners, but I’m not sure it is. As it goes on, the line between fantasy and reality gets very blurred, and while it is completely charming, might be confusing for the younger reader. I think 2nd-3rd might do better with it. Reminds me of Pinkalicious in that the heroine learns that to be oneself even when others say you are “babyish” is a great route to take. Loved the sparkly cover and the illustrations.
Originally published at

This one gets four stars. It was an utterly adorable story! Within its few pages it brings you from smiles to sadness and back again to a happy, tender smile. It was masterfully written with beautiful illustrations by Julia Denos. This incredibly fun book would make an ideal gift for the imaginative child. I very highly recommend it!
We enjoyed this book a lot as Ida ventures to school with her imaginary friend Dotty. She is happily relieved that some of her classmates have such friends too, but that soon changes and Ida begins to doubt herself. A charming ending and lovely bright illustrations. Would make for a great read aloud to a K-2 class.
Ida loves her imaginary friend, Dotty, but when her friends begin to outgrow their invisible playmates, Ida is torn about whether or not to let Dotty go. After Ms. Raymond, Ida's beloved teacher, shares a secret, Ida makes her decision. A delightful story about the importance of fantasy and imagination.
Colby Sharp
Listen to author Erica Perl read this book aloud on Mr. Schu's blog:
Great handling of imaginary friends and the places they hold in our childhoods-- and beyond.
The Styling Librarian
Too cute- love the celebration of imagination. Great teacher connection...
Clever illustrations bump this to a 4.5.
A sweet, engaging story.
Cute story of an imaginary friend, and growing up.
A great story with outstanding illustrations. Love it!!!
Edward Sullivan
Great school story. Lovely illustrations.
Stephanie Croaning
DOTTY is the story of a girl, Ida, going to her first day of school. She takes her new lunch box and her imaginary friend, Dotty. She finds out that all the other kids have brought their imaginary friends too, and she feels like she fits in. As the year progresses though, fewer and fewer children bring their imaginary friends to school, and Ida starts to feel shut out.

I think young children, especially at the start of school, will like this book and see it as an imaginative tale that shows that
Amy Musser
On Ida’s first day of school she brings her new lunchbox and Dotty, her (maybe imaginary) spotted friend. Ida is happy to learn that she’s not the only one in Ms. Raymond’s classroom who has brought a friend to school. Benny’s friend Spike has razor-sharp teeth. Katya’s chatty friend Keekoo swings from her braids. Max even has two friends, twins Pete and Repeat. That year everyone gets along, but when the students return in the fall Ida realizes she is the only one who still brings her friend to ...more
The writer of this book, Erica S. Perl, has a very imaginative thoguht. I sometimes imagine me having a weird pet, too, you know... something like Dotty. :) Julia Denos is a talented illustrator. She used the story and turned it into an understandable illustrations. Colorful and bright. Sparkly and fresh.
Erica Perl
Jun 15, 2010 Erica Perl rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Please get to know my good friend, Dotty!

I am of course biased because I wrote the book (Julia Denos drew the pictures so I can say and unbiased "WOW!" about them). Here's the scoop:

It’s Ida’s first day of school. She carries her new lunch box and a long, blue string with her special friend Dotty attached to it. A big, colorfully spotted pal with horns, Dotty just happens to be invisible. On that first day of school, Ida and Dotty find out there are plenty of other imaginary friends in attendan
OMGG...this book went on my list of books to purchase for future grandkids! It was so sweet. A book about a child's imaginary friend and the growing out of that friend. The illustrations just really put it over the edge in cuteness for me.
Sometimes adults can relate to kids and their problems more than you think! A special teacher has a surprise in this lovely book from Erica Perl.
Ngoc  Dang
This book shows children that it is okay to have imagination. The characters have their imaginary pets and they bring them to school. This book also teaches about loyalty because near the end of the school year other kids didn't bring their imaginary pets to school or just leave them in their pockets. The main character still bring her friend to school despite being making fun of. They are true friends.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dogs Don't Do Ballet
  • I'm Big!
  • Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World
  • Man Gave Names to All the Animals
  • Flora's Very Windy Day
  • Brother Sun, Sister Moon: Saint Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures
  • Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum
  • AlphaOops: H Is for Halloween
  • A Bedtime for Bear
  • Where Is Tippy Toes?
  • The Very Best Pumpkin
  • Not All Princesses Dress in Pink
  • A Balloon for Isabel
  • I Am a Witch's Cat
  • Spork
  • Too Purpley!
  • The Gentleman Bug
  • Hibernation Station
An accomplished and versatile writer, Erica S. Perl wears many hats literally and figuratively. Her middle grade novel, WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU O.J., is "a must read for all 8-12 year olds" ( It was named a Sydney Taylor Award Notable Book, and was a finalist for state book awards in VT and RI. The sequel, ACES WILD, came out in Summer, 2013.

She is also the author of several pictu
More about Erica S. Perl...
When Life Gives You O.J. Chicken Butt Vintage Veronica Goatilocks and the Three Bears Chicken Butt's Back!

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »