The Spotty Dotty Lady by Josie Wowolla Boyle and Fern Martins
Magabala Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922142108.
Highly recommended for younger readers. At a time in our society when many vulnerable people are living isolated and lonely existences, The Spotty Dotty Lady is a story which gently promotes compassion for younger readers and examines the way in which nature and emotion/s are interconnected.
This second collaboration between Josie Wowolla Boyle (West Australian singer, storyteller and artist) and Fern Martins (sculptor, printmaker, artist in pencil, pastel and watercolour) is a vibrant explosion of watercolour illustrations which will easily capture young people.
A sad and lonely lady discovers a very unusual flower bud in her garden and is intrigued by it. She carefully waters the plant with its fat spotty bud and soon more appear. She is so taken with the gorgeous spots she begins to transform her entire house, beginning with her teacup, by painting colourful dots all over. As the spotty buds unfold to reveal even more gorgeous spotty flowers, her dot painting takes over her entire house, as she imagines each dot to be a special friend. When the postie comes along and is delighted by the now spotty house, he cheerfully spreads the word all around the neighbourhood and suddenly people from all up and down the street are coming to see the happy looking house and meet the owner. They don't just stay and look however, soon they are asking the Spotty Dotty Lady to paint their own teacups - and stay to drink tea out of them. No longer the sad and lonely Spotty Dotty Lady, her actions transform the entire street as it becomes the happiest place to live for all.
This lovely picture book would be a marvellous starting point for many discussions around ideas such as empathy, communities, connectedness as well as inspiration for Nature and Art activities.