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The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics Hardcover – December 1, 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Originally published in 1963, and back just in time for Valentine's Day, The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics by Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth) once again bursts on the scene. Using only black and red, Juster tells the poignant yet humorous tale of a straight line in love with a red dot, and the line's attempts to woo her away from a slothful squiggle. Much merriment will be had by all before the hero gets his girl. ; Jan.)

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

A clever idea, carried out to perfection. You will find yourself going through these ingenious pages again and again. A gem. -- Saturday Review
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587170663
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587170669
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Norton Juster is an architect and planner, professor emeritus of design at Hampshire College, and the author of a number of highly acclaimed children's books, including The Dot and the Line, which was made into an Academy Award-winning animated film. He has collaborated with Sheldon Harnick on the libretto for an opera based on The Phantom Tollbooth. The musical adaptation, with a score by Arnold Black, premiered in 1995 and will soon be performed in schools and theaters nationwide. An amateur cook and professional eater, Mr. Juster lives with his wife in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Chances are that you know the author, Norman Juster, from his outstanding book, "The Phantom Tollbooth." What many people don't realize is that he created this classic book also in 1968, which was turned into an Academy Award winning short film. This book is a delight at many levels, providing the perfect opportunity for adults and children to read and discuss together. For although this book is indicated for the 4-8 year old group, younger children will love it, too, and the ideas in it are fascinating for adults. So, you should probably think of this as a book for "children of all ages."
You can read this book primarily from several different perspectives. It may be easier for you child if you emphasize one at a time when you introduce the book. First, there's the classic love "triangle" involving a line (a rather straight fellow) who falls for a circle, the circle (who's frivolous despite being perfectly identical in all directions -- "You're the beginning and the end, the hub, the core and the quintessence . . . ."), and a messy squiggle of a line who appeals to the dot (who the dot thinks is "gay and free, so uninhibited and full of joy"). This story line is the easiest for everyone to follow.
Although the line is a rather dependable and likeable sort, he's just not interesting to the circle (". . . and you are as stiff as a stick. Dull. Conventional and repressed. Tied and trammeled. Subdued, smothered and stiffled."). So he goes off to "learn new tricks" and creates the ability to make an infinite number of shapes out of his line. She's impressed, and that wins the fair maiden.
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Format: Hardcover
When I was a boy, I remember seeing an animated cartoon version of this book. I think they occasionally stuck it on after "Tom & Jerry" or "The Pink Panther". A few years ago, I found the book itself in the stores, so I bought it. If you are (like me) a math lover, you'll get the couple of math puns and jabs they use (such as the concluding "moral of the story" that I used for the title of this review, and the book's dedication). But you certainly don't need to be a math enthusiast to enjoy the book. You also don't have to be a little kid; in fact they use several "big words" that might need clarification from us "grown-ups".
You've heard the story before: Quiet, boring ol' Dick is crazy over the beautiful, bubbly Jane. But Jane is going out with Otto (the tough, joke-cracking "party animal" guy). Dick persists, and eventually finds out what it will take to win Jane's heart while maintaining his dignity. Jane dumps obnoxious Otto, wondering what she ever saw in him, and hooks up with Dick. I suppose it's a classic romance archtype (maybe there's a thin line between "archtype" and "cliche", but I digress).
Anyway, Juster beautifully tells this story by casting the three personalities as a simple straight line, a colorful dot, and a loud scribble. Each page has fun artwork to illustrate the story, ranging from geometrically simple to geometrically complex.
It's not a life-changing story, but I find "The Dot and the Line" to be an aesthetically pleasing, short n' sweet book. I'm glad to see it being reprinted.
1 Comment 52 of 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on December 17, 1997
Format: Paperback
I first read this book about thirty years ago and still chuckle when I page through its plum, black and white illustrations that underline an understated love story. A book for all ages -- the twenties, thirties, and forties. As a teacher I've shared this story with fifth graders, college students in creative writing classes, and foreign students learning the English language. However, I don't keep this 1963 edition around for my students. I keep it for the tongue in cheek wordplay and illustrative battle between the line and the squiggle for the deep affection of the dot. An age-old battle.
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Format: Hardcover
Plain and simple, this is a very cool book to give someone you love. My wife gave me a copy for Valentine's Day last year and I have kept it on my desk ever since to remind me. Read the other reviews if you have time to waste, but then buy this one. When you get it, carefully read it yourself, THEN wrap it. Then, when you give it, curl up with that special person and read it together. This is less fattening than chocolates, lasts lots longer than roses, and is way cheaper than either.
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By A Customer on September 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
I memorized this book at age 2 and it continues to be my favorite book. It is visually, mathematically and linguistically unparalleled in the world of small treasures. In 20 years, this book has never failed to make me smile.
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By A Customer on April 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
We used this book in our math class. It was a wonderful explanation of how simple geometry works.
What the books about:
This book is about a Line, a Dot, and a Sqiggle. It shows you how the three relate, and differnt things you can do with them mathmatically, throgh the medium of a classic love story.
Its a wonderful book and i suggest you read it, even if your not in a math class. I also hear there is a short cartoon bassed off of it.
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