November 7, 2010
With the latest book he’s chosen to obsess about at bedtime, our two-year-old, Griffin, seems to have an eye for design. In Lots of Dots, graphic designer Craig Frazier uses a vivid pop-art style to explore all the different dots, circles, and spheres we encounter in everyday life, from little ladybugs to skateboard wheels to scoops of ice cream to bubbles. It’s a common theme in picture books for young kids, but Frazier puts his own individual stamp on it, making each bright circle seem to jump out from the page.
And it may be because it’s fitting perfectly into his current developmental stage—as an all-too-typical dad of a second child, I haven’t stayed quite as on top of that stuff lately, so I’m not certain—but Griff was captured by Frazier’s illustrations right away. He returns to the book again and again, pointing at the dots on each page as we go through. He’s even initiated a little game on the last spread (on which Frazier has given us a collection of all the dots we’ve just seen in the book), pointing to each item in turn and asking, “What’s that?” with a little smile—because by now, he really knows all the answers perfectly well.
That, to me, is the sign of a really good basic-genre picture book—it does the same thing many others do, but in a way that’s magically irresistible to your child. Lots of Dots most certainly qualifies.
[Photos: Whitney Webster]