The Dot | Children’s Book Review | Maggie McDonald Photography Dallas


I am a MAJOR lover of books, especially of the kid variety.  I’ve always loved to read for myself, but when I became a teacher, I had this crazy urge to purchase every book in the universe and have a library of children’s books that was out of this world.  Lucky for me, my husband and his dad slaved in the garage several weekends building the perfect shelves for my second grade classroom.  I labeled and categorized everything, visited garage sales & Scholastic book fairs, I was a maniac!!!  I still have so, so many books, but lately, the kiddos and I have really been getting into the swing of reading and checking out books from the library.  We’ve been fortunate to find some amazing reads just by chance.  SO, this is where I’ll share some of those!

A long, long, long time ago when I first started this blog, I decided I’d love to have a section for recommended children’s books. Well, I got super busy and it never really came to fruition (except for this entry). It’s ALWAYS been at the back of my mind though! So, here we go. I’m going to try my best at reviewing a book for children once a week … PLUS, my pal Jess said she’d really love it. So, Jess, here’s the first one…{mwah!}


The Dot by Peter Reynolds (it holds an Irma S and James H Black Honor for Excellence in Children’s Literature award!)

The first time we read this book I got a little choked up.  It’s a beautiful story about a little girl who develops confidence through the gentle persuasion of a teacher and starts to believe in herself.

Vashti doesn’t think she’s an artist.  In fact, at the end of art class, she’s left at her table with a blank piece of paper.   Through humor and patience, her teacher encourages her to just make a mark on her paper and it truly changes her life.  Her teacher sees that “dot” as the work of an artist and the next day, her dot is framed behind the teacher’s desk.  This leads the young girl to see art in a new way.  Her eyes are opened.  Her confidence bursts.   Soon, she has a series of dot paintings at the school art show in all different sizes and colors.  Truly heartwarming.

The real beauty of the story, however, is when a young boy, with confidence that mirrors Vashti’s at the beginning of the story, approaches her and comments on her abilities.  This young child doesn’t believe in himself and Vashti suddenly feels the urge to pay it back — to let him know that it’s entirely possible to achieve greatness – you just have to look inside.

I hope you read it.  As a lover of the arts, this book really spoke to me.  I read this to Peach’s kindergarten classroom last week and EVERY STUDENT was wide-eyed and incredibly curious.  I could see their 5-year-old brains really processing the story.  They became alive as they saw Vashti blossom and believe in herself.  You’ll absolutely enjoy this story and the illustrations are super cute, too.

Hope you have a super day and thanks for stopping by!!!


6 Responses to “The Dot | Children’s Book Review | Maggie McDonald Photography Dallas”

  1. Jessica N Says:

    Thank you Maggie! Fitting that I’m the first to comment. :-) I will look forward to these reviews and building our collection of books. I’ll have to wait a few weeks so I can use the “free saver shipping” through Amazon ;-) Keep them coming!

  2. jen Says:

    love it! my mom has all her books categorized in excell – we are pretty lucky that lil’dub will have his own library at grandma’s house ;) i adore the pics too – can’t believe how much he’s grown!

  3. Farrah Says:

    You know I love it! I am needing to get into the routine of taking Aami to the library more often. I had been buying random books but in the end, it’s not so much about what we have as much as what we have experienced. Especially since money is tight right now.

    I will definitely be an avid reader. Thank you so much girl!

  4. Phil Says:

    Geez Mag, thanks for giving away the ending…

  5. julie Says:

    I was at the library studying when I read this (just taking a little break….) so I ran over to the kids section and checked it out! What a cute little story, I am SO excited to hear more of your book reviews! You always know the best books. yay! :)

  6. stephanie Says:

    I LOVE kids books!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the suggestion…what a fab idea…you are the best!!!!!

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