International Dot Day is coming up on September 15th so I thought it was the perfect time to share this book with you all! "The Dot&...

'The Dot' - Read and Rise September 2021


International Dot Day is coming up on September 15th so I thought it was the perfect time to share this book with you all! "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds tells the story of Vashti, a little girl who is convinced she can NOT draw! So her teacher prompts her to simply draw a dot, and then sign it. Vashti, encouraged by her successful first dot, continues to create dots - small dots, large dots, colorful dots...until she has many pieces of art to display at the school art show. A little boy is in awe of her talent and wishes he could be as great of an artist but says he "can't draw a straight line with a ruler." So Vashti extends her newfound confidence to the little boy and prompts him to draw a line on a piece of paper...and then sign it.

I think the message of "The Dot" is fantastic! For one, it reminds readers that when it comes to matters of creativity and artistic expression, there's no one right way to do it. Your art is yours and it doesn't have to look like your sibling's or classmate's or teacher's. 

Additionally, I think "The Dot" sends a message that extends far beyond art. And that is, when learning something new, start small. Vashti was frustrated because she felt like she couldn't draw. But maybe she was just expecting too much. All of us will feel like failures if we start out trying to paint like Van Gogh or skateboard like Tony Hawk! So Vashti's teacher helped her start small so she could build her confidence. After one dot, Vashti experimented with size and single colors and blending colors and even negative space! The strategy of starting small can be applied to almost anything you're trying to learn like cooking or writing or riding a bike. 

I've actually been working on practicing this myself because my head always gets filled with so many grand ideas and I had a tendency to try to go big and then fail because I never learned how to do it small. But it can be frustrating to start small because it takes longer. And by the time I've worked up to the first big idea, I've had 73 other grand ideas! But I've been trying to remind myself to keep at it and take it slow because 1 successful idea is still better than 73 partially completed failed ideas. And just maybe, that 1 successful idea will help me accomplish some of those other ideas more quickly in the future... 

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Featured story: "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds

Activity: Make your own dot art! Here is a great video by author Peter H. Reynolds that you can draw and create along with!

Many other Dot Day ideas can be found in the free Educator's Handbook that can be downloaded from International Dot Day. Stay tuned to find out what we created with dots for this year's International Dot Day!