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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  276 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
It's Idas 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 fr ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Harry N. Abrams
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Oct 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
The idea of imaginary friends was nice but the story itself was pretty boring.
Mary Ann
Aug 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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 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
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Margaret Chind
Jul 24, 2010 rated it liked it
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®.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-review, reviews
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!
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
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.
Edward Sullivan
Jul 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Great school story. Lovely illustrations.
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great handling of imaginary friends and the places they hold in our childhoods-- and beyond.
Oct 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Cute story of an imaginary friend, and growing up.
Colby Sharp
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Listen to author Erica Perl read this book aloud on Mr. Schu's blog:
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A great story with outstanding illustrations. Love it!!!
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Clever illustrations bump this to a 4.5.
A sweet, engaging story.
The Styling Librarian
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Too cute- love the celebration of imagination. Great teacher connection...
Bri  Ahearn
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Jared White
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A sweet, adorable book about imaginary friends and how they help us and sometimes enable some of our bad habits (because we blame them for doing them). I don't remember my imaginary friends, so I don't know if I blamed them for things I had done, but this seems to be a common theme among books with those friends in them. Anyway, it's not a favorite book, but I really liked it.
Viviane Elbee
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the illustrations in this book.

Great story about imaginary friends & fun ending.

Kids enjoyed the book and wanted a re-read.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Forrester
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Stephanie Croaning
Sep 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Erica Perl
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (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
Christine Turner
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 friends come to class, Ida begins to wonder if Dotty is welcome at school anymore . . .

Subject: Imaginary companions -- Juveni
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Erica S. Perl is the author of the O.J. books: WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU O.J. (Sydney Taylor Award Notable Book, Amazon Best Book, multiple state book lists including MN, FL, VA, VT and RI) and ACES WILD.

She is also the author of many popular picture books, including DOTTY, CHICKEN BUTT!, and GOATILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS. A crowd-pleasing presenter dedicated to reaching all readers, she is available
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