Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Dot

Yesterday I was at Saegert Elementary in Killeen ISD. I was doing a school assembly program teaching the scientific process / scientific method and the kids were loving the puppets and magic so much they had no idea they were learning all sorts of new vocabulary and important curriculum-based concepts.

Of course, because all my shows are reading motivation programs encouraging children to read, I usually perform in the library. And Jennifer Brown, the librarian at Saegert does a great job of creating an environment rich in reading possibility. Her displays of books were simple, but quite effective. Between shows I wound up reading several short books, as frequently happens when I am in the library.

On this particular morning I picked up The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.

What an amazing book! During my lunch break I skipped lunch to run to Barnes and Noble to buy my own copy of the book. When I got back to my hotel room that evening I got on-line and ordered another copy to give to my daughter's art teacher. It is such a profound book and really quite moving.

People look at children's literature and see that there are not many words and think "Oh, I could write a book like that!" But the truth is that it is MUCH harder to convey important messages with few words than it is with many words.

Peter Reynolds did a MASTERFUL job and this book is a great addition to any library. It is a perfect gift for any teacher, but if you have an art teacher you love, you are obligated to get this book for him or her. I can't believe it's been around since 2003 and won awards and I hadn't heard of it until yesterday.

Thank you Ms. Brown for having me educate, entertain and inspire your students yesterday. But I thank you even more for educating, entertaining, and inspiring me by introducing me to this book. I owe you.

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