The Dot Book Poster Image

The Dot



Student gets inspired to unleash her creativity.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the teacher in this story helps his student overcome her perfectionism and insecurity with artwork --- and she in turn inspires others.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Vashti is convinced that she cannot draw. When her art teacher says, "just make a mark and see where it takes you," the girl stabs at the paper in fury, leaving a distinct dot. The teacher tells her to sign it and turn it in. Next day, Vashti sees her "drawing" hung on the wall in a gilded frame. She decides that she can do a better dot than that and ends up creating a whole exhibit of her dots. Her career as an artist has begun.

Is it any good?


Focusing on perfectionism and insecurity as well as artistic process, the author shows in a humorous and kind way that getting started can be the hardest part in creative endeavor. With expressive illustrations in watercolor, ink, and tea, this elegantly designed book is profound in its simplicity. Showing the patience and detachment of a Sufi, the art teacher quietly but clearly shows the student that art (and by extension, all endeavors) can begin anywhere if a single first step is taken.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about insecurity. Why does Vashti think she can't draw? How does her teacher help her get started? Are there things you feel you aren't any good at? How could you get started?

Book details

Author:Peter H. Reynolds
Illustrator:Peter H. Reynolds
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Candlewick Press
Publication date:November 17, 2003
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of The Dot was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 4 and 7 year old Written bykenjahsmom April 19, 2010

Our new favorite

Amazingly simple yet offers a profound lesson. I love it as this as much as my kids do. Great illustrations!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 4 year old Written byronitld April 9, 2008

book that shown how a little encouragement can go a long way

This is a fantastic book that, simply and eloquently, tells us how a little encouragement can help drive someone to confidence and, indeed, greatness. It's especially moving that the protagonist becomes a motivator herself.