The Spots and the Dots

The Spots and the Dots
Helen Baugh and Marion Deuchars
Andersen Press

Here’s a tale that happened long ago – or was it so long?

Told with an appropriately bouncy rhyming text by Helen Baugh (it does feature spherical objects after all) we discover what happens when the little Spots, paying insufficient heed to their parents oft repeated warning, “If you go over the hill you will be taken away by the dots”,

start getting more daring with their favourite game until Baby Spot, scared and still, finds itself one evening at the apex of the hill.

However, close by is a second small someone, equally on its own.

A conversation ensues, and a revelation, followed by something very exciting …

Flip the book and read the story from the perspective of the Dots. This small tribe are also pod dwellers and their little ones love bouncing too, receiving a similar warning about the ill-intentioned Spots.

Naturally the infant Dots play a similar game to the little Spots and you can work out the rest …

Such a clever tale of colliding communities that celebrates difference and lays bare the idea that fear and prejudice are often fuelled by ignorance, showing that we’re all much more alike than we might at first think.

Helen tells it with a deliciously wry liveliness that is mirrored in Marion Deuchars’ superbly expressive scenes of small spheres and their adult carers.

Do make sure you study closely the grand meet up of the two infant groups wherein Marion has managed to give each of the playful infants a different look.

I can’t recommend this one enough: it’s brilliant.

Bob Goes Pop!

Bob Goes Pop!
Marion Deuchars
Laurence King Publishing

Marion Deuchars’ artistic bird Bob returns for a third story.

Herein he’s none too pleased when Owl informs him that there’s a new artist in town – one Roy the Sculptor – and by all accounts his works are creating a stir among the local population.

“But I’m the best artist in town” mutters Bob setting out to confront his rival.

Eager to strut his stuff, Roy introduces Bob to some of his creations and what he sees makes our resident artist’s feathers stand on end.

“HAMMYbammyCHEESYbunny” and ‘SHUTTLEbuttleKNICKKNOCKScuddle” indeed thinks Bob, not being able to resist pointing out what’s patently obvious:
“ … they’re just ordinary objects except bigger.”

Determined to hold on to his top bird status the newbie issues a challenge to Bob.  Egged on by Bat and Owl, some fiercely competitive sculpting takes place with Bob determined to win back his best artist crown.

After a few days Bob tries a bit of subterfuge that results in a woof woof face off …

culminating in a very loud POP!

With Roy’s evident distress, Bob sees the error of his ways and decides that teamwork might be the way ahead. Now talents pooled, the pair can jointly create THE world’s most incredible art and enjoy a terrific friendship too.

Through this thought provoking, stylishly illustrated story Marion Deuchars introduces youngsters to the world of pop art and the whole vexed question ‘What is art?’