Unexpected bright spots and laughs roll right over the uneven text in this concept piece.
In bold yellow on a glossy blue background, a clean shape introduces itself: “Dot.” Next are “Stop dot” and “Go dot,” predictably red and green. A “[l]oud” Pac-man–esque dot sits across from its “quiet” counterpart, which is similar but has a tiny mouth. A dot missing a jagged bite is “yummy,” while its partner, similarly bitten but with the bite lying nearby as if spit out, “tastes bad.” Weaker pairs glean definition only through heavy-handed contrast. Some dots are abstract: A shy dot’s mostly missing, as if hiding behind a white square, but because the background’s also white, the square must be inferred. The delightful bits are Intriago’s mid-book leaps away from her own setup. Out of the blue, photographed human hands appear to poke a hard and a soft dot, and “Got dots”—a Dalmatian photo—contrasts with “Not dots”—a zebra. These diversions are surprisingly funny. The weakness here is text, which vacillates between rhyming/scanning completely and not, with one glaring miss: “Stop dot / Go dot // Slow dot / fast dot” yearns to swap “slow” and “fast” for the rhyme.Verse wonkiness leaves an opening for youngsters to “read” to their adults by simply naming dots—no harm there. (Picture book. 2-4)