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.
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."