International Dot Day - September 15

September 12, 2022 | Katherine McG

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At Toronto Public Library, we know a thing or two about how awesome things can start with a dot (just take a look at our logo!). And every year on September 15, the world is invited to celebrate three of them creativity, courage, and collaboration on International Dot Day.

2022 Dot Day Poster: An illustration of a child painting a large reddish-orange dot using a paintbrush attached to a long wooden stick. Text: We're Celebrating International Dot Day September 15th-ish.The day itself also started with a dot... well, more specifically the book The Dot written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.

It is the story of Vashti, a girl with a blank piece of paper and a big problem. She needs to make something for art class and she can't draw. Her teacher encourages her to "just make a mark" to see where it takes her. So she does. A sharp jab of a maker that creates a dot on her page and starts her on a wonderful creative journey of self-discovery.

It was a reading of this "delicate fable about the creative spirit in all of us" by Iowa teacher Terry Shay to his students that inspired the creation of International Dot Day.

As stated on its official website, on this day-ish, people around the world are invited to "re-discover the power and potential of creativity in all they do." To help you to begin, the organizers encourage everyone to read, create and share. Use the hashtags #InternationalDotDay and #MakeYourMark on social media if you choose to share the dots your family or class creates.

Illustration of a yellow dot balloon Illustration of a red dot balloon

The Dot and Other Books to Spark Creativity

You can discover the whole story of The Dot by borrowing a copy. We have it in multiple formats and languages including book, audiobook, eBook, eAudiobook, read-along and French. But be warned, reading it may also start you on your own creative journey as you learn to celebrate what you can do instead of lamenting what you can't!

The Dot


There are many books in our collection that celebrate the power of imagination and the art of self-expression. Here are a few suggestions:

Aaron Slater  Illustrator

Aaron Slater, Illustrator by Andrea Beaty ; illustrated by David Roberts


What If

What If... by Samantha Berger ; Illustrated by Mike Curato


A Squiggly Story

A Squiggly Story by Andrew Larsen ; illustrated by Mike Lowery


Arlo Draws an Octopus

Arlo Draws an Octopus by Lori Mortensen ; illustrated by Rob Sayegh Jr.


Blue Spot

Blue Spot by Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay


Anywhere Artist

Anywhere Artist by Nikki Slade-Robinson


A Dot Day Creativity Challenge

Illustration of a blue dot painter's palette

International Dot Day is truly a day not only meant to celebrate your own creativity, but to inspire and encourage others, just like the teacher does in the original story. At TPL, we strive to do this, too! And so we invite you to join us on a little creative journey in the comments below. 

Let's play with our words! Using the letters in the word "dot" or "the dot" share some words of advice, encouragement or creative inspiration. For example, "DOne Thing."

And if you only do one thing to celebrate this International Dot Day, might I suggest that you remind yourself that you possess the power of creativity. Don't believe me? Well then start with a dot and just see where it can take you.

Illustration of a green dot smiley face