Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

The top 10 books for 6 year olds in 2012 have taken a leader. From the brilliant mind of Peter H. Reynolds comes “The  Dot.” – An account from the perspective of Vashti; an art class student who “just can’t draw!” But Vashti’s teacher sees an inner artist in all of his students. This book opens up with relatable frustration – as every child (and adult, for that matter) has felt like they couldn’t do something. However, it proves that with gentle encouragement and a nudge in the right direction, we can be and do anything we set our minds to.

What happens when the teacher says “You can” to Vashti?

It all starts with one dot of color on a piece of paper and ends with millions of dots on hundreds of pieces of paper – all different colors and shapes befitting a child’s imagination. She gets compliments on her original artsy dot, and what she thought was unremarkable becomes extraordinary. Vashti’s self-confidence is soaring towards the end of this book! The dots in this tale can represent the many “dots” or obstacles that a child could be going through – such as dealing with the first day of school, overcoming a learning disability, or something as simple as taking interest in a new hobby.

Why is this book important to a child’s mental growth?

When faced with a difficult dilemma or an obstacle, parents and teachers want their children to meet with the problem head-on; they want them to believe they can overcome those obstacles. When Vashti says, “I can’t,” her teacher assures her, “You can!” It’s a moral message that will stick with children throughout their entire lives, well into adulthood – where they will eventually pass the same beliefs and life lessons down to their kids. This book is something that can be cherished through generations!

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