The Spots and the Dots


The Spots and the Dots have been warned, ‘You know the drill./ Whatever you do…/ Don’t Go Over the Hill!‘ It seems that danger lies there. The story has been shared by parents and ‘their parents’ parents’ that the Spots will be ‘taken away by the Dots’, Yet the Dots heard that the ‘Spots were BAD through and through’! Who is to be believed?

Is it possible that this truth might be wrong? That in fact the Spots and Dots are scared of nothing? That time and fear have built the terror into something nonsensical and entirely imagined?

Thereafter, what if a baby Spot might become stranded on ‘the top of the hill/ …so Scared,/ staying so Still.’ It seems there’s a baby Dot frozen in fear on the other side of the hill, convinced that the Spot is scary! What happens if the infant Spot and Dot convince each other that they are in fact friendly? That they are not scary? Might they share this news, and thereafter bounce and play? Could it be that they might then turn to their respective Spots and Dots and share the news? Could they start a revolution of friendship and togetherness?

Helen Baugh and Marion Deuchars have created a seemingly simple story with rhyme and artful twists and turns. These elevate The Spots and the Dots to readers that they appreciate the message further. Thereafter, through twisting and turning, the message, from the fear to the discovery, is impactful, delightful and realised.


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The Spots and the Dots

Helen Baugh and Marion Deuchars

(Andersen Press)

The Spots and the Dots are warned to never ‘go over the hill‘. It seems that on the other side are dangers. Furthermore, the Spots ‘will be taken away by the Dots!‘ should they wander. Therefore what might happen to the littlest Spot, Baby Spot, stranded, terrified, on the top of the hill? In addition, what will be the fate of the Baby Dot on the other side of the hill, who is ‘scared of the Spots!’
Might it be that the world could start to change ‘in front of their eyes‘ that actually ‘over the hill‘ is a ‘safe place to play‘. Is it possible that there is no need to fear the other? Then again, could it be that baby Spot and Dot have discovered  they can bounce and play together without fear? Thereafter, shouldn’t they share this discovery with others of their tribe? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if from that day on they ‘could be friends‘?
Like The Wall in the Middle of the Book, The Spots and the Dots is a story of difference and fear. The way the message is shown is similar, in that bold images inform us ahead of our main characters. Furthermore, it has a visual trick up its sleeve in that the story can be read in reverse. This means we might realise the experience as a Dot, meeting a Spot.
Helen Baugh and Mairon Deuchars have created a bold, determined and effective picture book in The Spots and the Dots that Bookwagon urges schools and homes to read and share.


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