The Dot

Common Sense Media says

Student gets inspired to unleash her creativity.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
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.

Parents say

Kids say

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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?

QUALITY
 

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

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 4 year old Written byronitld April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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.
Parent of a 4 and 7 year old Written bykenjahsmom April 19, 2010
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

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

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