Grandparent Discoveries Blog

Inspiration from Peter H. Reynolds

Cheryl Beaudoin

Discovery Museum hosted a wonderful conversation about the future of childhood last fall featuring Peter H. Reynolds, writer, storyteller, and illustrator (The Dot), and Founder of FableVision Studios and the Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning, and Creativity. As big fan of Peter’s work, a lover of children’s books, and a former teacher, I was so excited to be in the room with Peter and to learn from him.   

Peter’s powerful message was that discovery, curiosity, and making mistakes are all a part of learning—and require courage. He talked about his belief that every child—in fact every person, adults included—has something amazing inside of them, but that it can take real bravery to let that something out.  

Peter’s books teach these lessons in a simple and beautiful way that children can digest. As a great many elementary school teachers do, I used Peter’s books in my Kindergarten classroom to help teach my students that everyone is an artist (The Dot, Candlewick Press, 2003); that it is perfectly ok—and in fact, good—to make mistakes, because it is how we learn (Ish, Candlewick Press, 2004); and that it’s important to use our voice to “say something” about the things we  believe in (Say Something!, Scholastic, 2019). 

I also used The Dot during my first Camp Gigi, on Art Day.  We read the book and talked about how anyone can be an artist, and all it takes to start is a dot.  The story and message of The Dot is such a simple way to get young children to feel comfortable with art and calling themselves artists. We painted lots of dots that day, and, made sure to sign them as the artists!   

I find Peter to be very inspiring. His mission is to encourage everyone young and old to be brave, be our greatest selves, and develop our own voice. At the event at Discovery Museum, he rallied everyone in the room to lean on their curiosity, share their brilliant idea (he believes everyone has one!), and go write that book that we all have in us!  Peter is supportive of teachers everywhere and believes in the importance of their work. 

If you are not familiar with Peter’s work, I encourage you to explore his books at your library, local bookseller, or at his Blue Bunny Bookstore online and in Dedham, MA. Grab some of his wonderful and inspiring books to read to your grands—believe me, you and they will both love them!   


Are you familiar with Peter’s books? What do you think of the messages Peter shares? 

What other books have meaning for you and your grands? 

If you do try one or more of Peter’s books to read with your grandchildren, please let me know your thoughts! 

Cheryl Beaudoin

Hi, I’m Cheryl: grandmother, retired Kindergarten teacher, longtime friend (and current Board member) of the Discovery Museum—and now, blogger!  As a grandparent, I try to apply what I learned as a teacher about children and their development to strengthen my relationships with my grandchildren and bring them joy. My hope for this blog is to engage with other grandparents in the Museum community to collect and share stories and ideas about the joys—and challenges—of grandparenting, and how we can connect and deepen our relationships with our grandchildren. Please join me in this wonderful journey we are on—I look forward to hearing from you! Use the comment box at the bottom of any blog post or email me at


Nancy Wurtz

Sat, 04/29/2023 - 18:17

Hi Cheryl! Miss you and love your blog! Another favorite Peter Reynolds book that I like to read to my class on the last day of school is “Be You!”  His books agave such positive messages and fun to read to kids.


Tue, 05/02/2023 - 09:18

In reply to by Nancy Wurtz

Hi Nancy!  Nice to hear from you!! Miss you as well!!  I have not read that one by Peter Reynolds so I will certainly check it out! His books all have such a positive message and are definitely a delight to read both for young and old!!  

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