It’s a great week for children’s authors. On Tuesday, we had Roald Dahl Day, celebrating 100 years since the birth of the author of classics like Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and The BFG. On Friday it’s the birthday of Julia Donaldson who wrote The Gruffalo - which is my favourite business book. I love the story of the little mouse outwitting the huge, scary Gruffalo – it reminds me that it’s not always the biggest or the loudest that gets ahead.
And now I’ve discovered an American author and illustrator called Peter Reynolds whose book The Dot is behind today’s International Dot Day. The Dot tells the story of a young girl who believes she can’t draw. Her teacher dares her to make her mark so in frustration she puts a dot on the page – and it’s that simple start that sets her off on a wonderful creative journey.
The book isn’t just about encouraging children to draw. It’s about encouraging everyone – young and old – to be brave about expressing themselves. It was such an inspirational message that International Dot Day was born and now every year people all over the world take part in creative activities to ‘make their mark’.
I love that a book can have so much power. For children to be able to read something that sparks their imagination and helps build their confidence is just amazing. And I love that a book can become your friend. Unlike today’s disposable gadgets, a book is always with you, nestled on a bookcase or waiting patiently beside your bed. Whenever you need it, whether that’s for reassurance or guidance or to just to immerse yourself in a great story, it’s there.
You’re never too old to learn. To celebrate International Dot Day I’ll be thinking about what’s holding me back or what scary things I’ve been putting off. Then I’m going to grab my courage and do something to ‘make my mark’.
* So I’d love to know – what children’s book inspired or encouraged you when you were growing up?