The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
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.
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:
The boy’s pencil shook as he drew his line.
Vashti stared the boy’s squiggle. And then she said….