Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 194: The Dot

We're on a big Peter Reynolds kick in our house lately... and loving it!  This is partly due to my son's sudden love of drawing, but also because Reynolds' books are simply fabulous and worthy of reading again and again.  My first encounter with his illustrations was in Someday, written by Alison McGhee, a beautiful book that makes me cry every time I read it.  I discovered The Dot and Ish last year, and they, too, were love at first read.  I've written before about how Ish inspired my son to be more confident about creating his own art, and have been incredibly thankful to have found these books ever since.  A few weeks ago, though, things really clicked and it was as though my son suddenly flipped his artistic switch to "on."  I honestly never thought I'd see the day when he'd want to sit and draw for hours, but now he does.  It's so wonderful to watch.  I got Ish and the Dot out of the library again last week to help keep inspiring his creativity, and was shocked when I realized I hadn't written about the Dot yet!  So without further ado, here's my take on this amazing picture book:

Sitting in her art class, Vashti is convinced she is not an artist.  Frustrated by her blank piece of paper, she isn't afraid to tell her teacher as much: "I just CAN'T draw!"  Smiling sweetly, her teacher gives the perfect, encouraging response:  "Just make a mark and see where it takes you."  Annoyed, Vashti grabs a marker and jabs at her paper, leaving only a dot.  "There!"  Much to her surprise, her teacher asks her to sign it, and Vashti returns to art class the following week to find her dot framed on the wall.  Little does Vashti know how much that one little dot would change her perspective and encourage her to express herself in ways she never thought possible.  

Inspiring and heart-warming, the Dot is an absolutely wonderful story with an even lovelier message.  I just love Reynolds' illustrations, as I do in all of his books, and it's as though I can feel Vashti's creative energy flowing into her work on each page.  I just adore Reynolds' watercolor and pen and ink style and the charming, sweet life it breathes into his illustrations.  He is definitely among our favorite authors and illustrators.

We've all had times in our lives where we're convinced we absolutely can't do something and don't even want to try. The Dot is an empowering, beautiful story that will inspire readers of all ages to believe in themselves, try new things, and see just what they can become if they simply take the chance.   We all have something special to share with the world; we just need to have the courage to make our mark and see where it takes us.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." 
~ Lao Tzu


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