Wednesday, December 14, 2005
A frustrated grade school artist, Vashti sits slumped over her blank piece of paper at the end of art class. "I just CAN'T draw!" she tells her teacher. Her teacher first uses wit, then subtle yet clever encouragement to inspire her student to go beyond her insecurities and become, in the words of a younger boy who "can’t" draw either, "a really great artist."
Peter H. Reynolds crafts a quiet, pleasing story in The Dot--one that will strike a chord with children who have outgrown the self-assurance of kindergarten and begun to doubt their own greatness. His marvelous watercolor, ink, and, yes, tea illustrations are appealing in a Quentin Blakey way, especially as Vashti begins to go wild with her dots. The delightfully open-ended conclusion will have readers of all ages contemplating how they can make their own mark in the world. Highly recommended.