Before-Breakfast Dot

h1 January 10th, 2012 by jules


Here’s another quick post before breakfast about a 2011 title that caught my eye, yet I never quite got around to posting about it last year.

Anyone else out there see Patricia Intriago’s Dot? It was released by Margaret Ferguson Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux in August. This is Intriago’s first picture book; she’s the principal of Intriago Design.

But before you dismiss it as one for just graphic designers—as you can see from the art here, these are minimal and very simple shapes, along with a bit of photography thrown in as a surprise for readers (not pictured in this post)—I’ll point out the smart thing Lane Smith said about this book. (It’s not like we chatted about it, but he provides a back-of-the-book blurb.) He points out what he calls the subtle and clever text and notes that “[c]lassic Ruth Krauss comes to mind” when he reads it. He makes a good point here.

Using a simple dot (and starting out with the bright yellow one seen on the cover), Intriago explores the world of opposites in this concept book—“Stop dot,” “Go dot,” “Slow dot,” “Fast dot”—playing cleverly with size, shape, color, and composition. “On a purely artistic level,” wrote the Horn Book review, “it’s all about perception, how we can see the same thing differently depending on context and composition. Intriago’s accompanying text helps us share her vision, but it also serves to keep us a little off-center, as she offers a few predictable rhymes but avoids others.”

The book is also loosely framed by the construct of a day, given that she opens with what looks like a sun and close with “Dots up in the sky so bright twinkle as we say good night.”

I like this one. It’s smart and elegant and gives space for the youngest of readers to think. Here are some more spreads. Enjoy.




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DOT. Copyright © 2011 Patricia Intriago. Published by Farrar Straus Giroux, New York. Images reproduced by permission of the publisher.

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10 comments to “Before-Breakfast Dot”

  1. I love books that leave lots of room for discussion and imagination and the clean artwork is beautiful! Thank you for sharing this.


  2. Very cool and (as you say) very subtle.

    I did think “hurt dot” was an olive, though. A martini dot, maybe. I don’t know what that would make “heal dot.”


  3. An olive whose had a bad day?


  4. What a fun one. Let the art project extensions begin!


  5. After I got sidetracked into thoughts of emoticons, I decided I like this concept. Though the Heal dot makes me think of the bandaids on the letters in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Hmm–you see? It made me think! Definitely a great choice for starting an art lesson, or even a conversation about symbols with slightly older children.


  6. What’s with all the dot books lately? I’ll check it out, haven’t seen this.


  7. I love the DOT book by Margaret Ferguson. As a preschool teacher/owner of 25 years, I feel that children will be very engaged with this book. I felt all of the emotions as I looked at each dot, some I laughed at. I love, love, love it and so will children.
    http://www.weecareclinic.blogspot.com


  8. Excuse me..written by: Patricia Intriago “Dot” It was released by Margaret Ferguson Books/Farrar.
    http://www.weecareclinic.blogspot.com


  9. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! (i’m a graphic illustrator) “Dot” totally validates simple illustrations like my own. Lovely work! I’ll be adding this to our Book Nook soon!

    happy dot!


  10. […] images come from Joy Chu’s The Got Story Countdown (scroll down).  See also Jules Walker Danielson’s Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast for more on the […]


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