TITLE: The Dot and the Line: A Romance in lower Mathematics
AUTHOR + ILLUSTRATOR: Norton Juster
PUBLISHED BY: Chronicle Books, 2000
Norton Juster is best known in the Children's Book world, as the imaginative author of The Phantom Tollbooth. I never got into it as a child (though I love it now)--my favorite of his books was but his charming little "romance"-- The Dot and the Line.
I am including it in this second round of basic concepts because I certainly learned a lot about shapes from it, even if it, strictly speaking, is not a book about learning shapes.
It concerns a red dot and the blue line who loves her and is determined to win her. She is, however, smitten with a squiggle. And we can't really blame her at first, for the squiggle and the dot dance so well together (even if it is a little wild). The Line is so saddened by her rejection that he is determined to do something about it.
I saw this at a very young age and fell in love with the graphics. Chuck Jones' brilliant little gem of an animated version is perfect. I would say it is as good as reading it aloud yourself, but, I don't have as nice a voice as he did.
"You are as meaningless as a mellon," the Dot said coldly. "Undisciplined, unkempt, and unaccountable, insignificant, indeterminiate, and inadvertent, out of shape, out of order, out of place, and out of luck." --Dot to Squiggle
One more note: the book is funny, and light--but it is also profound. In this little tale of love we learn about direction, determination, love, and its pursuit. And I don't suppose that is a lesson we can learn too early.