International Dot Day

International Dot Day – September 15

interntl dot dayToday is International Dot Day, “a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration.”  This creative celebration was inspired by the book, The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds.

A teacher’s guide, some videos, Celibri-dots blog (dot images by authors, illustrators, and other famous folks), and a gallery of images of creative projects folks have done in the past to celebrate International Dot Day.  To learn more about International Dot Day, or to find ideas for activities, visit the website:

Bookworm Bear loves Peter H. Reynolds books.  We’ve reviewed The Dot and Ish here – they are well worth looking for at local libraries and bookstores.

Dot cover smallIsh


The Dot

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Dot coverThis is a wonderful story about a girl named Vashti and how she learns about her creative spirit.

Vashti sits angrily in her art classroom after class staring at her blank piece of paper.  She thinks she is bad at art, that she can’t draw — so she hasn’t drawn anything at all.

Vashti’s art teacher talks with her in a friendly way, and encourages her to “just make a mark and see where it takes you.”

And Vashti does.  She takes a marker and makes an angry jab at the paper.  “There!” she says.  The art teacher studies Vashti’s paper, then quietly asks her to sign it.  Vashti does.

Dot inside 1

And that is the beginning of Vashti’s journey.  The next week Vashti finds that the art teacher has hung her dot (angry marker jab) in a frame above the teacher’s desk.  Vashti grumps to herself a bit, and decides she can make a better dot than the one in the frame.

Vashti starts painting.  She experiments with dots in different colors.  Then she discovers she can make new colors by mixing the ones in the watercolor paint box.  She makes huge dots.  She makes a dot by painting everything except the dot – leaving a paper-colored dot.  Vashti happily finds the creative spirit in herself.

The school has an art show – and Vashti has many of her dots in the show.  A younger boy approaches her and says:  “You’re a really great artist.  I wish I could draw.”  Vashti tells him she bets he can draw.  Then:

Dot girl and boy“Vashti smiled.  She handed the boy a blank sheet of paper.  “Show me.”

The boy’s pencil shook as he drew his line.

Vashti stared the boy’s squiggle.  And then she said….

“Please…sign it.”


ish by Peter H. Reynolds

IshA single mocking comment can change the way we see things – about the world, about ourselves, or about things we love doing.

Ramon is a boy who loves to draw.  He draws all the time, and is happy when he is drawing.  One day his older brother makes fun of a picture Ramon is drawing – saying the picture doesn’t look anything like the vase of flowers.

Ramon gets upset and crumples up his drawing.  After that, when Ramon tries to draw it isn’t the same.  He feels he can’t get the pictures just right.  He crumples up a lot of drawings.

After many months and many crumpled sheets of paper, Ramon put his pencil down.  “I’m done.”

His sister, Marisol, watches him, and grabs one of the crumpled drawings.  When Ramon chases her to her room, he is startled to see her walls.  Marisol has saved many of his drawings and taped them up.

“This is one of my favorites,” Marisol said, pointing

“That was supposed to be a vase of flowers,” Ramon said, “but it doesn’t look like one.”

“Well, it looks vase-ISH!” she exclaimed.

Ish-insideRamon starts to see his drawings differently after that.

“Ramon felt light and energized.  Thinking ish-ly allowed his ideas to flow freely.  He began to draw what he felt- loose lines.  Quickly springing out.  Without worry.

Ramon draws again, and is happy.  He finds that he can draw ish feelings, and even tries making ish poems.

Ramon doesn’t worry about his brother’s comment, or about getting drawings just right, anymore.  He is back to drawing because he loves drawing – and finding great joy in it.