Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Review - The Dot

The Dot (Creatrilogy)
by Peter H. Reynolds
Date: 2003
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm sure we all know someone (or we are someone) who says they can't draw. In this story, Vashti is one of those people. She thinks she can't draw, so she doesn't even try... until her teacher gets her to start with a dot. Just a dot.

That might've been the end of it, except that the teacher frames Vashti's piece and hangs it on the wall. Thinking she can do much better than a simple dot, Vashi gets out her paints and begins to experiment. Eventually, she gains the confidence to help inspire other young artists who think they can't draw.

The illustrations are simple but effective, mostly black and white except for some backgrounds and Vashti's artwork (the characters themselves don't have any colour at all). I've seen some of the illustrator's work before, and liked some of it more than others. I think it really depends on the context. In this case, the illustrations work really well with the subject matter.

This is a nice story about trying something new. Just because you think you can't do something doesn't mean you're right. Vashti found that out in a fun and colourful way, and managed to pass on the message to someone else who needed to hear it. Hopefully, readers of the book can do the same.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.33 out of 5

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