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.
About the Author
Peter H. Reynolds was a reluctant reader but an incessant doodler as a child. "I often visit classrooms and ask who loves to draw," he says. "In kindergarten and first grade, all the hands go up. In second grade, most of the hands go up. In third grade, half the hands are up. By fourth and fifth grade, most of the hands are down, or perhaps pointing to ‘the class artist.’ It’s sad to see the artistic, creative energy slowing down, being packed away. I am convinced it’s because children learn early that there are ‘rules’ to follow. But when it comes to expressing yourself, you can invent your own rules. You can change them, you can stretch them, or you can ignore them all and dive headfirst into the unknown." The illustrator of the Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald, Peter H. Reynolds was recently honored as Literacy Leader of the Year by Verizon. He is the president and creative director of FableVision Studios.
In this engaging, inspiring tale, Reynolds (illustrator of the Judy Moody series) demonstrates the power of a little encouragement. . . . Reynolds pulls off exactly what his young heroine does, creating an impressive work from deceptively simple beginnings. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
With art that seems perfectly suited to the mood and the message of the text, Reynolds inspires with a gentle and generous mantra: 'Just make a mark.' —School Library Journal (starred review)
Simplicity itself, like the dot in the title, this small book carries a big message. —Booklist (starred review)
A fable about the creative spirit in every child. —Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Books of the Year
This small gem of a book tells the story of Vashti. . . . It's the beginning of a love affair with dots in many different colors, sizes and patterns — and a marvelous lesson about what art is. —Washington Post
Readers can wonder about unsigned works that lie before us all. —Chicago Tribune
In other hands this story about the power of the creative spirit could be preachy and overdone, but Reynolds keeps the voice fresh and the message subtle. —Book Links
A wise and delightful tale for all ages. —Yellow Brick Road
Reynolds' pictures in this parable . . . emphasize that all art, from the most impressive masterpiece to a child's simple scrawl begins the same way and by definition there is no right or wrong way to express oneself — an important lesson for anyone who is learning something new. —Syndicated Column - Lynne Burke
This is a charming fable about faith and art. Reynolds's drawings have just the right lightness and whimsy to keep it all afloat in a cartoony watercolor-washed world. —Boston Globe