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The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics
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The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,497 ratings  ·  186 reviews
Once upon a time there was a sensible straight line who was hopelessly in love with a beautiful dot. But the dot, though perfect in every way, only had eyes for a wild and unkempt squiggle. All of the line's romantic dreams were in vain, until he discovered...angles! Now, with newfound self-expression, he can be anything he wants to be--a square, a triangle, a parallelogra ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Chronicle Books (first published 1963)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,497 ratings  ·  186 reviews

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Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, art, childrens, maths
Acute, quirky picture book for all ages. You can view it from several angles: it’s superficially about geometry, but tangentially about love across boundaries, trying new things, and the perils of judging by appearance. Hence, the subtitle, “A Romance in Lower Mathematics”. My point is plane [sic]: unless you’re really obtuse, you’ll come round to its punning charms, by degrees.

Plot Line, Story Arc, and Love Triangle

A “sensible straight line” falls in love with a “frivolous dot” who prefers a “
Michael Finocchiaro
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, kids
This is a short children's book from the author of the spectacular children's classic The Phantom Tollbooth which tells the love story between a Dot and a Line. It is simply magic and your kids will ask you to read it to them time and time again. Perfect for a bedtime story due to its short length, it is a wonderful addition to your kid's bookshelf.
Aug 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children, people feeling lost in life
Not as well-known as Norman Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, but much more to-the-point.

This book concerns a line. Our line is trying to get the attention of the dot he loves.
The dot falls in love with a squiggle.

It is, in short, a classic love triangle. Ha! Get it? A triangle! I kill me!

Ahem... back to the review.

The book's point is about the line's self-concept and self-esteem. He sees the squiggle as everything he can't be (and he truly can't). By the end, he learns what he can be instead, an
Jon Nakapalau
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites, math
The only book I can think of that is similar is Flatland by Edwin Abbot - but this book has much more romance.
Jun 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Aw, come on, Line. You can do better than Dot. Especially after your burst of personal growth! Why didn't you outgrow Dot?

I don't think this is the message I'm supposed to take from this story. I finished it with similar feelings to how I feel about Shel Silverstein's sweet story of codependency The Missing Piece Meets the Big O--a nagging suspicion that I was supposed to find it charming and romantic but instead feeling pity and a mild revulsion to the dynamic.

Why everyone should read this any
Jun 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
A wedding present from one of Tyler's friends and, I must admit, absolutely perfect for him! ;-> It's a bit off-beat, quirky, slightly silly yet at the same time being very witty and thoughtful--while managing to be a good romance. The pictures are great and fit well with the text, adding more humor. It's a very quick read and, while I'm not sure I would recommend it to absolutely everyone--if you're in the mood for a fun and surprisingly well-written little tale about all the ways in which a Li ...more
Author of the The Phantom Tollbooth has written a tongue-in-cheek love story, complete with mandatory love triangle: a straight (and boring?) line loves a beautiful dot who fancies herself in love with the madly captivating squiggle. What is the straight line to do to win his lady fair? That is the question!

Through all sorts of clever and maybe painfully not-so-clever but still cute puns, Juster spins his mathematical tale. Unique. Fun. Illustrated throughout and a quick read. Could be read to c
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love it. It's for adults and children. My mother, me, an 8-year-old boy, and a 5-year-old boy all enjoyed this at the same time. My husband even chimed in from across the room as I was reading it aloud that it sounded like that Phantom Tollbooth book. Sure did!

Readers should know it is a picture-book length. Plenty of words and illustrations to enjoy, but not a chapter book. Our edition is a small size for a picture book.

Entirely enjoyable.
Lisa Vegan
Sep 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who appreciates an imaginative book
Just read this in 2007 (thanks to seeing it on Goodreads users' shelves); wish I had been able to read the original 1963 edition. I wasn’t sure what bookshelves to put this book on; I was tempted to create a new shelf.

This is a very inventive story about a love triangle between a dot, a line and a squiggle.

A cute story told in pictures & words, with some geometry/math, a love story, a story about developing and improving oneself.

I might have given it 5 stars, but I thought it was unfairly cruel
Amy Neftzger
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing

That would be my one word review, but for those of you who want more I would call this one of the best picture books I've ever read. The story is both simple and complex, much like mathematics. It's the story of a line who's in love with a dot and the plot is filled with all the agony of unrequited love for the entire 80 pages, which will take less than 15 minutes to read. But these will be the most amusing 15 minutes of your day as you explore the theme of love through lower mathematics.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
A book I wish someone had read to me when I was a child. A cute love story between a dot, a squiggle and a line where mathematics and romance meet.

This was made to a short animation film. Find it here
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just as charming as I remembered it. Reread it to remind myself that it is not necessarily a bad thing I am giving up a squiggly life for a straight line life for at least a while. Inspiring! And beautifully, simply done. Treat yourself to a few minutes of a perfect picture book.
(For adults. I wouldn't want a girl to have the dot as a role model or a boy to emulate the line's affections and wooing, but I don't think that is really the intention or the point. He has an idea to convey and a fun w
Dec 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
This is a charming illustrated curiosity, very very short, that contains a morality tale and some hidden psychological insights.

You can read it in less than half an hour.
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My good friend and neighbor just read this to me and our kids--it was very clever. Her husband (currently a Ph.D student in mathematics) had given it to her for Valentine's Day. I don't think our kids got it, but we were sure laughing hard.

Okay, I had to come back and edit this review after I read some of the other reviews saying how this sends a terrible message. That terrible message being that we should never have to change for someone else to like us. Umm....that's ridiculous. I have a lot o
Sep 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Loved the fanciful/mathematical drawings with lines - also liked the word selection -
I did not like the way the line changed himself for the dot -
although it could be argued that the line went on a journey of self discovery.
The problem is, the dot was not worthy of the line to begin with - and in the end, the line has a great depth of character, and the dot is - a dot.
Still, a very cute picture book -
Marissa Elera
A poignant, absolutely wonderful tale.
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Witty and true to heart! Because good people can and will fall for selfish balls.
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cute and clever story with a good message. Instead of trying to be like someone else, be the best You can be! Whether you like Math or not, I think everyone could relate to this book somehow.
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cute mathematical romantic fable, complete with clever moral.
May 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
More of a picture book than anything else. It's by the author of The Phantom Tollbooth, which I LOVE, but this one is written as though for an even younger audience (I qualify with the "as though" because I think it's really meant for adults but is laid out like a toddler's picture book) and is mostly just silly, although sweet. It's about a line that falls in love with a dot, but the dot is in love with a squiggle. The line teaches himself to bend into various other shapes to impress her, and ...more
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I just read this short little book by the author of the great The Phantom Tollbooth, about a line's unrequited love for a dot and how he wins her over. Like that book, this is on the surface for kids (although for younger than Phantom Tollbooth), but there's more going on, in particular the same atrocious (in a good way) use of puns ("'She is more beautiful than any straight line I've seen', he sighed..Even allowing for his feelings they felt this was stretching a point", "Moral: To the vector b ...more
Katherine Tobiya
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
This is probably one of the cutest math humor books I've read.

I love the concept for the little "love triangle" and how complex but simple the book can be, the only thing I would have to complain about is the "moral" of the story.

*Spoiler* he does win the girl in the end, but instead he should have ended up with someone who actually deserves him, not just randomly like "wow you impressed me so much we should get together now".

Overall great kids book and totally recommend for both children and ad
Nathan Dehoff
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
By the same author as my childhood favorite The Phantom Tollbooth, this is a picture book that Juster illustrated himself, although it also includes some stock photographs. The story, likely inspired at least partially by Flatland, concerns a line who's in love with a dot, but she prefers an uncouth scribble. Eventually, the line wins the dot's love by learning to form angles, leading up to a punch line presented as a moral. It's a quite clever work that was made into an animated short directed ...more
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recently I had occasion to re-read one of my most favorite children’s book, Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth. Out of curiosity, I checked the Internet to see if he ever wrote anything else & I was pleasantly surprised that he had done a picture book entitled The Dot & the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics. It’s a delightful, although very short read (took me about 10 minutes or so), with quirky humor, visual puns and word play which extends to the author blurb. I re-read it several times ...more
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
There's no denying the charm of this book, even for people not enamored with Mathematics. More than that it actually makes a good Philosophic and Scientific point. More than that, the illustrations are often absolutely lovely and copying them would probably make for a really satisfying doodle while you're bored in Math class.

However, part of me can't get over how judgmental the characters are toward each other! I felt certain the author must have been British given how snarky, calloused, and il
Jun 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me smile. I liked how the Line solved his problems, but at the same time, I thought that the Dot was a little lacking in luster and personality. The illustrations were pretty cool as well. I'd recommend this book for math majors or people who just love math in general because then you would get a kick out of this book.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Marck Rimorin
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I first encountered "The Dot and the Line" as a kid, watching the MGM cartoon adaptation. The short film is a very faithful - if not direct - adaptation of this work.

Without spoiling much, this is basically a love triangle expressed in geometry. The artwork is brilliant; the turns of phrase are funny and witty. The message rings true and clear for children and adults. Cute, adorable, and meaningful. Perhaps the most charming book I ever read.
Robert Davis
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
You can watch the MGM short film adaptation here for free:

We all watched the film when we were in elementary school, and in some ways makes the story come more alive than the short book. It is perhaps a perfect adaptation. But, the book is still lovely fun and shares a sweet story though geometry. A splendid story for all ages.

Funny punny little book from Norton Juster, author of my very favorite book The Phantom Tollbooth. I love the 60's graphic visual style too. I wish we had a copy in good condition, but alas my library only has a super beat up first edition. ...more
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Norton Juster is an architect and planner, professor emeritus of design at Hampshire College, and the author of a number of highly acclaimed children's books, including The Dot and the Line, which was made into an Academy Award-winning animated film. He has collaborated with Sheldon Harnick on the libretto for an opera based on The Phantom Tollbooth. The musical adaptation, with a score by Arnold ...more

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