• Candlewick Press MA
—Booklist (starred review).
"The Dot is about getting started — getting unstuck. It is also about creative teaching, exploring an idea in many ways, and sharing our gifts with others."
"Ish . . . encourages readers to see the world anew."
—School Library Journal, starred review
"Besides encouraging children to paint what they actually see rather than repeating the visual conventions they've learned, this original offering frames an apparent problem as a challenge with a simple solution. Rounding out the picture book series that began with THE DOT (2003), this fresh, whimsical picture book encourages the artist and the creative thinker in every child."
—Booklist (starred review)
"Perfectly poised for graduates of all stripes."
"Reynolds's fable emphasizes that having faith (and patience) can pay off big."
With a simple, witty story and free-spirited illustrations, Peter H. Reynolds entices even the stubbornly uncreative among us to make a mark — and follow where it takes us.
Her teacher smiled. "Just make a mark and see where it takes you."
Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw - she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. "There!" she says.
That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery. That special moment is the core of Peter H. Reynolds’s delicate fable about the creative spirit in all of us.
A frustrated grade school artist, Vashti sits slumped over her blank piece of paper at the end of art class. "I just CAN'T draw!" she tells her teacher. Her teacher first uses wit, then subtle yet clever encouragement to inspire her student to go beyond her insecurities and become, in the words of a younger boy who "cant" draw either, "a really great artist."
Peter H. Reynolds crafts a quiet, pleasing story in The Dot--one that will strike a chord with children who have outgrown the self-assurance of kindergarten and begun to doubt their own greatness. His marvelous watercolor, ink, and, yes, tea illustrations are appealing in a Quentin Blakey way, especially as Vashti begins to go wild with her dots. The delightfully open-ended conclusion will have readers of all ages contemplating how they can make their own mark in the world. Highly recommended. (Ages 5 to 9) --Emilie Coulter
PreSchool-Grade 4-"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 takes that very first stab at art, winningly and economically dramatized by Reynolds's fluid pen-and-ink, watercolor, and tea image of Vashti swooping down upon that vacant paper in a burst of red-orange energy, there's no stopping her. Honoring effort and overcoming convention are the themes here. Everything about this little gem, from its unusual trim size to the author's hand-lettered text, from the dot-shaped cocoons of carefully chosen color that embrace each vignette of Vashti to her inventive negative-space masterpiece, speaks to them. Best of all, with her accomplishment comes an invaluable bonus: the ability and the willingness to encourage and embolden others. With art that seems perfectly suited to the mood and the message of the text, Reynolds inspires with a gentle and generous mantra: "Just make a mark."-Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Greenwich, CT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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 © American Library Association. All rights reserved
In this engaging, inspiring tale, Reynolds (illustrator of the Judy Moody series) demonstrates the power of a little encouragement. . . . Reynolds pulls off exactly what his young heroine does, creating an impressive work from deceptively simple beginnings.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
With art that seems perfectly suited to the mood and the message of the text, Reynolds inspires with a gentle and generous mantra: 'Just make a mark.'
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Simplicity itself, like the dot in the title, this small book carries a big message.
—Booklist (starred review)
A fable about the creative spirit in every child.
—Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Books of the Year
This small gem of a book tells the story of Vashti. . . . It's the beginning of a love affair with dots in many different colors, sizes and patterns — and a marvelous lesson about what art is.
Readers can wonder about unsigned works that lie before us all.
In other hands this story about the power of the creative spirit could be preachy and overdone, but Reynolds keeps the voice fresh and the message subtle.
A wise and delightful tale for all ages.
—Yellow Brick Road
Reynolds' pictures in this parable . . . emphasize that all art, from the most impressive masterpiece to a child's simple scrawl begins the same way and by definition there is no right or wrong way to express oneself — an important lesson for anyone who is learning something new.
—Syndicated Column - Lynne Burke
This is a charming fable about faith and art. Reynolds's drawings have just the right lightness and whimsy to keep it all afloat in a cartoony watercolor-washed world.
Peter H. Reynolds is the New York Times best-selling illustrator of the Judy Moody and Stink series written by Megan McDonald. He is also the creator of several picture books for children, including Ish, Sky Color, The North Star, and So Few of Me. The president and creative director of FableVision, Peter H. Reynolds was born in Canada and now lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.