*This post contains affiliate links.
We all want to leave our mark, but sometimes, figuring out how to get there is daunting. And when something seems too hard, or too far away, or too much of a wrong fit for us, we often wish we could just give up. But this isn't the lesson to teach our kids, and that is where The Dot, by Peter Reynolds, comes in. We absolutely adore this book, and this is one we turn to again and again.
In The Dot, Vashti struggles in art class, defiantly stating to her teacher that she just can't draw. Her teacher tells her to make "just one mark" on her paper, and to see where that mark takes her. So Vashti complies- making one small dot on the paper. The teacher tells Vashti to sign her name on her artwork, and then, in a moment of pure brilliance, frames it on the wall. Seeing her work on display, of course, encourages Vashti to do better, and what follows is a beautiful journey of self discovery and exploration, as a little girl ignites the creative fire she never knew she had within.
This book is such a gem. In this crazy and over-scheduled world that seems to pressure even the littlest of kids to be perfect and the absolute best at every activity they do, I love how The Dot takes an almost opposing message, imparting to hesitant children that there is always room to explore activities without any pressure. The magic of childhood is just that- it's a time of experimentation and imagination, a time to simply make a mark to see where it takes you. And that's what it should be, because little kids don't know know what they will love and what they will hate, where they will excel and where they are lacking. But books like The Dot, books that encourage this experimentation without any pressure to succeed, this is what matters. Encouraging kids to try. Because when you try, when you take that one little action. it just may be the start of something wonderful. Thank you, Peter Reynolds, for this treasure.
Want the book? Get it here! The Dot, by Peter Reynolds.