I’m deviating from my usual practice of posting Perfect Pairing on Tuesday in order to celebrate an important day: the 10th Annual International Dot Day! I hope you enjoy the post and join Peter H. Reynolds, the author/illustrator of The Dot, and close to 13 million people in 177 countries celebrating creativity and the joy of “making your mark.”
Author & Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds
Publisher/Date: Candlewick Press/2003
Ages: 5-8 (and older)
Themes: art; creativity; confidence; making your mark
Short Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
Read more about celebrating Dot Day at Children’s Books Heal and By Word of Beth.
When I Coloured in the World
Author: Ahmadreza Ahmadi
Illustrator: Ehsan Abdollahi
Translated By: Azita Razi (2015)
Publisher: Tiny Owl Publishing Ltd/2017 (first published in Persian, Nazar Publisher/2010)
Ages: 3 and up
Themes: imagination, diverse books, creating positive change, power of art
Short Synopsis (from Book Depository):
This is a story that is told with poetic simplicity, offering beautiful images but also raising questions to set thoughts going in readers’ imaginations as a child uses an eraser and crayons to bring happier colours to the world, replacing bad with good.
Read my review from April 2017.
I paired these books because the celebration of creativity permeates both books. The teacher in The Dot encourages Yashti to tap into her inner artist and share her creativity with others. The mother gave the unnamed young narrator in When I Coloured in the World crayons and an eraser, which the child then used to change the bad and sad in the world to good and happy. Both children make their marks – how will you make your mark in the world?
And my DOT for 2018? A combination of my favorite place and my hope for this world.