The Spotty Dotty Lady
Magabala Books, 2014
3-4yrs, 5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary
AC Links/EYLFEYLF1, EYLF2, EYLF3, EYLF4, EYLF5, ACELT1575, ACELT1783, ACELT1580, ACELT1831, ACAVAM106, ACAVAR109
EYLF1, EYLF2, EYLF3, EYLF4, EYLF5, ACELT1575, ACELT1783, ACELT1580, ACELT1831, ACAVAM106, ACAVAR109, ACPPS001, ACPPS004, ACPPS005, ACPPS006, ACPPS007, ACELA1453, ACELT1582, ACELT1584, ACPPS0015, ACPPS0017, ACPPS0018, ACPPS0019, ACPPS0020, ACPPS0023, ACPPS0024, ACELA1462, ACELT1587, ACELT1589, ACELT1591, ACELT1593, ACELT1594, ACELT1596, ACELT1599, ACPPS033, ACPPS034, ACPPS035, ACPPS036, ACPPS037, ACPPS038, ACPPS041, ACPPS042, ACELA1498, ACELT1602, ACELT1603, ACELT1605, ACELA1502, ACELT1608, ACELT1609, ACELT1610, ACELT1612, ACAVAM110, ACAVAR113, ACAVAM114, ACAVAR117, ACPPS051, ACPPS054, ACPPS055, ACPPS056, ACPPS059, ACPPS060, ACELA1518, ACELT1613, ACELT1614
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- Art motifs
- Visual literacy
The opening line immediately captures attention: ‘Once there lived a sad lady whose only friends were the pretty flowers in her garden’. One day a mysterious plant appears and with great anticipation, the sad, but now fascinated lady waters it and watches it blossom into a ‘wonderful, spotty, dotty flower’. Inspired, she paints dots on her tea cups, her kettle, then her kitchen table. Not long afterwards, she paints a multitude of dots on everything in her kitchen, then even the outside of her entire house!
Soon all her neighbours came to see the spotty dotty flowers, bringing their cups so these too can be decorated with dots. They stayed for tea, friendships formed, then a big party brings all the neighbourhood together to befriend the formerly sad lady who is now known as the Spotty Dotty Lady. She never felt sad and lonely again.
The watercolour illustrations perfectly capture the scenes of sadness and loneliness then the emerging happiness as the Spotty Dotty Lady makes friends with all her neighbours. The spotty dotty flowers soon fill the pages with colour and capture the atmosphere of happiness. Looking closely, there is a diversity of cultures represented in the illustrations. At the story’s conclusion, sadness and loneliness once seen in lady have disappeared. Perhaps a discussion of the transformative power of nature also underlies this joyful story.
Josie Boyle was a Wonghi woman from Western Australia. She was a storyteller, singer and visual artist. Fern Martins is a Ngarabul woman from New South Wales. She is a sculptor, printmaker and artist. They are the creators of the picture book, ‘Bubba: A Christmas Adventure’.
- Magabala Teaching Notes by Christina Wheeler for ‘The Spotty Dotty Lady’ Josie Boyle and Fern Martins https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0092/5043/9268/files/Spotty_dotty_Teacher_Notes.pdf?2379
- Lisa Hills’ Schools Stuff’s Weblog. Review by Lisa Hill of ‘The Spotty Dotty Lady’ by Josie Boyle and Fern Martins 11 January 2014 https://lisahillschoolstuff.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/the-spotty-dotty-lady-by-josie-boyle/
- Writing NSW. Review by Natalie Limbert of ‘The Spotty Dotty Lady’ by Josie Boyle and Fern Martins 27 March 2014 https://writingnsw.org.au/book-review-the-spotty-dotty-lady-by-josie-boyle-and-fern-martins/
- ‘Aboriginal Elder Josie Boyle speaking with the Moorditj Mag Men’ https://rtrfm.com.au/story/aboriginal-elder-josie-boyle-speaking-with-the-moorditj-mag-men/
- Books+Publishing. Obituary of Josie Wowolla Boyle 9 December 2020 https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2020/12/09/160702/vale-josie-wowolla-boyle/
- University of New South Wales Indigenous Law Centre. Biographical profile of Fern Martins https://www.ilc.unsw.edu.au/artists/fern-martins
- Lake Macquarie City. Biographical profile, awards and photographs of Fern Martin’s artwork https://www.lakemac.com.au/For-residents/Art-and-culture/Lake-Mac-Open-Studios/Open-Studios-artists/Fern-Martins