The Dot

By Gulnar Hajo, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
Published by Darf, 2019

This is the story of a dot that got bored of sitting in the same place for ages without anything to do. So, it got up and started moving around. And that was when the fun started…

Syrian author Gulnar Hajo takes us on a playful journey about shapes and how when we work together we can create something wonderful. 


‘Syrian author/illustrator Gulnar Hajo’s story, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, is original and unusual. It’s a playful exploration of lines and shapes and how they can all work together. The mainly black and white illustrations with the occasional splashes of bright red, orange and yellow are extremely effective and child-like in their simplicity. It’s a story that is sure to capture the imagination of any child and make them want to experiment with dots and shapes.’

–  Outside in World

‘It’s a wondrous world of beauty and diversity that Gulnar Hajo conjures up for us in words and pictures. And let’s remember, it all started with a dot, a mere speck in the big broad universe. The Dot is a celebration of creativity and collaboration, inviting readers to take a fresh look at the shapes that make up our world. I think it would make a great read-aloud, particularly in a preschool setting.’

– Laura Taylor, Global Literature in Libraries Initiative

‘A delightful little picturebook. First published in Syria and written in Arabic and translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, the dot reminded me of other creative and playful works such as Harold and the Purple Crayon and Press Here.’

Mat Tobin

‘A really good example of how playing with ideas and imagery is a genuine opportunity for creativity. What does a dot want? How do the dot’s ideas play out? Lovely images, great stylised city scapes.’

Nick Swarbrick

About the author

gulnar hajoSyrian illustrator and artist Gulnar Hajo (جلنار حاجو) has published over 20 books for children. She is also the co-founder with partner Samer Kadri of Bright Fingers Publishing House and Arabic-language bookseller, Pages Bookshop, in Amsterdam and Istanbul. Hajo appeared on two panels at Edinburgh Festival in 2019.

Other translations

prickThe Dot has also been published by Fenix Forlag in a Swedish-Arabic bilingual edition as Prick på äventyr