Tonight we dipped back into the world of picture books to read a book that is actually two books in one – The Spots and the Dots by Helen Baugh and Marion Deuchars.
We decided to start our reading in the blue corner with the Dots, a small tribe who live on one side of a hill. They live happily and play freely, with only one restriction – they must never go over the brow of the hill as on the other side live the evil Spots who are bad through and through. And the rule is followed by all until, one day, the littlest Dot ends up at the summit and comes face to face with a Spot! And if you flip the book over you get the exact same story told from the perspective of the Spots! Just what will happen when these two tribes meet?!
I love it when we find a completely original, unique picture book (it still happens lots) and this is what we have here. The flipping of the book and the same story being told from two perspectives is such a clever device to convey the central messages of the book. What appears on the surface to be a simple book is actually full of important messages about acceptance, differences and the idea that fear is often based on ignorance. The writing is done in a rhyme that works really well to build the story and helps with reading aloud and the illustrations, with their limited colour pallette are bright and fun. T enjoyed it a lot and told me, “That was a lot of fun to read twice and I was very happy that (SPOILER ALERT!) they were all friends in the end. There was even a cute purple baby!” Utterly original – go check this one out!