Book Review / The Spotty Dotty Lady By Josie Boyle and Fern Martins


The Spotty Dotty Lady is a simple and moving story that depicts a sad lady who, when mindful of her environment, encounters a simple pleasure: a mysterious bud. The bud gives her hope as she nurtures the plant, waiting in anticipation for the unveiling of the flower. When the bud opens she finds a beautiful […]


The Spotty Dotty Lady is a simple and moving story that depicts a sad lady who, when mindful of her environment, encounters a simple pleasure: a mysterious bud. The bud gives her hope as she nurtures the plant, waiting in anticipation for the unveiling of the flower. When the bud opens she finds a beautiful flower that inspires in her creativity and action as she begins to paint dots on the world around her. The Spotty Doty Lady as she comes to be known, shares these contagiously beautiful dots with her community and attracts much interest. The once lonely lady finds courage, welcoming neighbours for tea and even throwing a party for her new friends. Inspired by a simple pleasure in nature, she has infected her whole community with the joy that these colourful dots bring.

The reader is witness to the Spotty Dotty Lady taking life into her own hands and bringing about positive change for herself and those around her. We are invited to share the Spotty Dotty Lady’s emotional journey, from a sad and lonely woman, to one motivated, inspired and happy. This journey is captured beautifully by Fern Martins watercolour illustrations, which take the reader from the isolated grey and gloomy world in which the book begins, to a bright and joyful one, as the Spotty Dotty Lady brings colour to the community and puts this street on the map. The illustrations transport the reader to this garden and street; the neighbours in their pyjamas will make you smile and the action poses in the party scene give the feeling of rhythm, enough to make you wish you were there to join the dancing.

The Spotty Dotty Lade is a wise tale for children and adults alike, which shows us that sometimes when we need a change in life, taking a look at the wonders in our own environment can be enough to soothe, give pleasure and inspire us to take action to change life for the better, for ourselves and those around us. The simple beauty in this book is that it highlights the passion to be found in nature.

Natalie Limbert is a mother of one chirpy 17-month-old boy with whom she shares her love of books, and Clinical Psychologist working in the area of child development.


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