- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Dotty Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 1, 2010
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Special offers and product promotions
From School Library Journal
K-Gr 1–When Ida starts school, she brings along her invisible friend, as do many of her peers. Each one embodies some aspect of the child it has bonded with. In Ida's case, it's her anger. As winter flows into spring, Ida realizes that she is the only child still bringing her special friend to school. When Katya teases her about Dotty, Ida (Dotty) shoves her and gets into trouble. Staying after school, Ida discovers that her teacher also has an invisible friend she still brings to school. Denos's illustrations subtly show the characters and the seasons changing, and the pressures of growing up. The text is best suited for one-on-one reading as the pictures have hidden nuggets of information for those who look carefully. This enjoyable tale of maturing at one's own pace and on one's own terms will resonate with children and parents alike.Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The author of the super silly Chicken Butt! (2009) strikes a more introspective chord with this story about imaginary friends. Dotty, a large, horned, polka-dot creature, goes wherever Ida, a young girl, goes. On the first day of school, Dotty is one of several imaginary friends, but as the school year progresses, Ida thinks that Dotty is the only one left. Then she shares a reassuring chat with her teacher, who reveals that sometimes grown-ups need friendly support, too. The story sends a gentle message to children who aren’t ready to let go of their imaginary friends, and as with many other picture books about classroom anxiety, including Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten (1996) and First Day Jitters (2000), the shared experiences between teachers and their pupils will be a source of comfort for young children. Denos’ colorful, stylish, mixed-media illustrations emphasize the sweetness, discovery, and common worries that come with leaving home and entering the wide world of school for the first time. An appealing story that merits repeat visits. Grades K-2. --Kara Dean
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
On the first day of school Ida takes care to bring with her a new lunchbox, a pair of striped leggings, and her imaginary friend Dotty. Dotty resembles nothing so much as a benign combination of cow and toadstool. At school, Ida discovers that many of her classmates have similar companions. There are Max's twin sea serpents, Benny's razor-toothed R.O.U.S., and Katya's doodle-brought-to-life Keekoo. As the school year progresses, however, Ida discovers that more and more of her schoolmates have stopped bringing their friends to class. By the time spring comes around Ida is on the receiving end of the now worldly Katya's teasing and she reacts angrily. The two girls write "apology" notes, and then Ida has a discussion with her teacher Ms. Raymond. After promising that she'll explain to Dotty that pushing people is inappropriate, Ida spots a red leash belonging to her teacher, not dissimilar at all from Dotty's leash. It may well be that special friends are the kinds you keep with you always.
Essentially, in this book you're looking at the changes a kid goes through in the course of a single year of school. With that in mind, Perl's choices are pretty interesting. For example, Ida's friend Katya begins the book with a tiny imaginary friend that swings on her braids. Later she gets a haircut and keeps the creature in her pocket secretly. That haircut sort of marks a rite of passage for Katya. The growing out of imaginary friends is shown in different ways. I would have liked some clarification on what grade Ida was in, of course. This seems to be her first day of school ever, which would mean that this is Kindergarten. Still, these kids look older than Kindergarteners, and the pseudo-apologetic notes written near the end are more 1st or 2nd grade material.
Take note that the illustrations by Denos look patently simple but have details that the five-year-old inside of me appreciated. I liked that two out of three of Ida's lunchboxes featured images that are not always associated with girls in books (a dinosaur and outer space). In fact, you'll find that the image of Ida waking up on the title page shows drawn pictures of a dino on the wall and a toy dino and space rabbit (the third lunchbox displays a rabbit) sitting on the windowsill. I liked that Gert, Ms. Raymond's own invisible friend, actually appears early in the book in two scenes, hiding. I liked that Ms. Raymond's neck scarf matches Gert's furry coat, and that Ida is usually seen wearing dots or big round buttons to match Dotty. The publication page's explanation of the Denos technique is amusing, saying that "The illustrations in this book were made with brush ink and a bit of Photoshop here and there." Love that "a bit". An interesting choice of words.
The text was choice. At no point, I should note, are the words "imaginary friend" uttered in the course of the story. The story takes the creatures that come to the school for granted. I found myself wondering at what point the child readers would understand that Dotty was an imaginary friend. Later, would they recognize that Dotty hitting Katya was actually Ida hitting Katya? This may be giving kids too little credit, of course. It's entirely plausible that a kid reading this book is going to recognize that the reality of the situation (i.e. children bringing strange creatures to school) doesn't work and that therefore these must be imaginary friends. Still and all, I'd love to take a poll to see how many parents reading this book to their kids, stop and say clearly, "Now this is a book about an IMAGINARY FRIEND" for the "benefit" of their children's understanding versus those who just let the text stand for itself.
To a certain extent this book reminded me of "Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School" by Nathan Hale. The obvious difference, of course, is that while the monsters in this book are figments of the children's imaginations, in "Yellowbelly" they're all too real. The pairing of Perl and Denos comes off as particularly strong here. One can hope that they'll be put together on similar books in the future. Particularly if those books have the same mix of sweetness and wisdom as you'll find in the beloved "Dotty". A charmer of a book.
For ages 4-8.
But when the kids return to school again after winter holidays, most of Ida's friends show up without their make-believe sidekicks, deeming it "too babyish" to have them in their lives anymore. Pretty soon, Ida is the only one left bringing her fantasy pal to school, and begins to feel ashamed in still believing in Dotty. At first, Ida tries to shoo Dotty away as well. But with a little help from Ida's teacher, she learns that you're never too old to believe in the magic of a true friend--even an imaginary one.
Lyrical prose by Erica S. Perl, and whimsical illustrations by Julia Denos make Dotty the kind of story you'll want to read over and over again, especially when you too need a reminder of the power of using your imagination.
--Reviewed by Jill MacKenzie