Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
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*****The Dot

by Peter H. Reynolds

Reviewed November 4, 2003.
Candlewick Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2003.  32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (E REY).
Winner of the 2004 Christopher Award for ages 6-8.
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003:  #5, New Picture Books

Here’s a simple story with a strong message for children and adults both.

Vashti believes she can’t draw.  She refuses to put anything on her paper in art class.  When her teacher says, “Just make a mark and see where it takes you,” Vashti angrily jabs the paper and makes a dot.

Her teacher’s reaction surprises her.  She pushes the paper back to Vashti and says, “Now sign it.”

When Vashti sees her signed art framed over the teacher’s desk the next day, she knows she can make more interesting dots than that.

This ends up as a beautiful story about making your mark, and not judging yourself by other people’s standards, and appreciating individuality.  The drawings add to the story, with colored dots around Vashti showing us her moods.

A powerful little book.

Reviews of other books by Peter H. Reynolds:
The Water Princess

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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