Author(s): Erica S. Perl
Illustrator/Photographer: Julia Denos
Publisher and Year: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2012
Number of pages: 29
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Analysis: In Erica S. Perl’s children’s book Dotty, the text functions as a mirror to those who are the victim of bullying, and as a window to those who are bullies. Ida who is an average girl brings her imaginary pet to school just like every other student. But, as the years go on the other students grow up and grow out of their imaginary animal. The only one who has not is Ida. She begins to be bullied by the students who once brought their imaginary animals to class. She begins to feel real bad and she begins to shoo away her imaginary friend even though she really does not want to. Dotty, her imaginary animal tries to comfort her and tries to convince her that the other students are wrong. One day Ida tries to get rid of her. Once she releases the leash she begins to charge toward Ida’s classmates knocking one of them down. After that, the teacher, Ms. Raymond, notices that Ida and another student are not getting along ever since the accident. She has them apologize to each other. Ms. Raymond then asks Ida to stay after school to talk with her. After school Ms. Raymond asks Ida if she could get Dotty to behave better at school. As Ms. Raymond tries to give back Ida’s leash, Ms. Raymond accidentally pulls out her own. Ida automatically knows that Mrs. Raymond also has an imaginary pet. Through this moment, Ida realizes that with the help of her teacher, she can make it through this tough transition with her classmates and Dotty. The book literally shows us how much imagination children have and how much imagination teachers have in order to relate to their students. Ms. Raymond functions as a character that might have experienced the same type of scenarios as Ida has. She might have had a teacher who was there for her to tell her that it is all right to be different. To not be afraid to do what you believe in and strive for what you think is right in your heart. Ms. Raymond is a role model that helps motivate and prevent others from getting her down. Her imagination and her proactive efforts to prevent bullying helped cheer her up and brighten her future.