2018-09-01 / BookBag

Make Your Mark

Paula Bannon | Schlow Centre Region Library

On Sept. 15, classrooms and libraries all over the world will celebrate International Dot Day. Every year, this day highlights the impact of one small picture book: The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. In the story, a young student named Vashti finds herself stuck in art class, faced with a blank piece of paper. “I just can’t draw!” she says. Her teacher smiles and says,  “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” Vashti makes one small dot on the page and turns it in to her teacher. The next week, she’s shocked to find her dot framed on the wall behind her teacher’s desk. “I can make a better dot than THAT!” Vashti says. She creates dots of different colors, shapes and sizes. That one, small dot inspired her to do so much more than she ever thought she could. How many of us have been faced with a seemingly impossible task only to find that by just taking one step, we were eventually able to accomplish our goal? Reynolds’ book is dedicated to his seventh-grade math teacher who dared him to make his mark. This month, let’s explore children’s books featuring artists, famous or not, who made their marks.

Vasya Kandinsky was from a good family. He did well with his studies and even practiced piano. But when his family sent him to art class, they expected him to come home with pictures of flowers or landscapes like a proper artist. But when Vasya opened his paint box, he heard the colors make beautiful sounds! As Vasya grew older, he had to decide if he would continue on with life as his family expected or paint the music that he heard coming from his paint box. Eventually, Vasya Kandinsky would grow up to be one of the first painters of abstract art. Follow his creative journey in The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock.

During a visit with his grandfather, a young boy feels like they have nothing in common. They don’t like to eat the same things or even watch the same TV shows. But when the boy pulls out his markers to draw, he discovers that he and his grandfather share a passion for drawing. Told with few words and beautiful pictures, Drawn Together by Minh Lê and illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner Dan Santat explores what can happen when you share a passion for art.

What would a snowman look like if you painted it? Most of us would likely start with three white circles and a face. Some might also add black buttons and a hat. Author and illustrator team Amy and Greg Newbold explore what a snowman would look like if painted by famous artists like Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keefe, Salvador Dali and more in If Picasso Painted a Snowman.

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