#481 – Connect the Thoughts, A Journal: Dot Your Life — Free Your Mind by Eloise Leigh & Taylor Norman

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Connect the Thoughts: Dot Your Life – Free Your Mind

by Eloise Leigh & Taylor Norman

Chronicle Books      August 2013 .


Ages 7 and up   120 pages .


Back Cover 

Connect dots on the graph paper pages to create various sizes of boxes. Use the spaces to answer the prompts (they’re pretty compelling) or keep track of any other random thought (they’re pretty important). Have you ever met anyone else with your brain?  No.  You’re not going to meet anyone else with your journal, either.


“Before you start this journal, consider something:  How many thoughts pass through your mind in one second? How about in a full minute—or an hour . . . We’re thinking all the time—all kinds of things. In one brief second, your thoughts might range from where you sprawl in your bed at home (sic) to a summer on a beach in Cape Cod . . . “


Connect the Thoughts can be a fun journal for kids. Every thought, whether written, drawn, or diagramed will be a look into yourself. This is a unique journal in that the pages are all graph paper with nine dots. Use the dots to connect thoughts, or ideas, or anything you want connected. To help you sparkle with ideas, there are sections devoted to music, movies, family, friends, books, food, travel, ideas, dreams, and a section for everything else you can think of that the publisher did not.

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Connect the Thoughts is perfect or boys. Using a diary is out of the question. Diaries belong solely to girls. But Connect the Thoughts is not gender biased. The cover is orange and none of the images is gender specific. Inside, on the bottom on each page, is a prompt to help you get journeying. Of course, you do not need to follow any prompt, but they are nice. Once you have posted in your journal for a few weeks, those prompts will not be needed and probably not noticed.

Using Connect the Thoughts for a journal caused me to be more creative. Rather than simply writing, as I have always done—since I was a teen, I turned to drawing, which needs to stay in a private journal. I like the graph paper as it helps me stay straight, but the dots do not interest me. I do like the prompts. Some are practical:

“Family Recipes/Secret Ingredients”

“A map of your house”

Some are silly:

“What would you look like as a comic book character”

“Weirdest thing you have ever eaten”

Some are thoughtful:

“Your life map: where you have traveled so far/Where you want to travel someday”

“Things you’d like to do before you die”

The biggest reason I think kids—girls and boys—will enjoy Connect the Thoughts is that middle grade kids are transitioning between an elementary personas to their teen personalities. I believe it will help kids master that transition better if they take a half hour each day to write about their day, how they feel, what they did, and what they want to do. Seeing the day on paper can make mistakes easier to see, along with the correct solution. You can see (read) yourself objectively, seeing the parts you like, what you did great that day, and those you want to change.

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The other side to Connect the Thoughts is the fun approach to stress relief. It really helps to simply doodling your day. It will make you laugh, I promise. I really think. Connect the Thoughts is a wonderful book for kids, even teens, to record their life, relieve stress, and, most importantly, watch themselves grow and guide that growth.    Connect your thoughts, your goals, your life, and get to where you want to be.

Learn more about Connect the Thoughts HERE.

Buy Connect the Thoughts at Amazon  –  Publisher .

Learn more about Eloise Leigh, author, designer, illustrator:     website    facebook      chronicle books     twitter

Learn more about Taylor Norman, co-author:     linkedin     twitter     chronicle posts

Learn more about Chronicle Books:    website    blog    facebook    twitter    pinterest    linkedin    G+    instagram    scribd    design    tumblr     youtube    foursquare .

CONNECT THE THOUGHTS, A JOURNAL: DOT YOUR LIFE ∙∙ FREE YOUR MIND. Text copyright © 2013 by Eloise Leigh and Taylor Norman. Illustrations and design copyright © 2013 by Eloise Leigh. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.



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23 thoughts on “#481 – Connect the Thoughts, A Journal: Dot Your Life — Free Your Mind by Eloise Leigh & Taylor Norman

  1. This definitely sounds like a productive way to keep a journal or just get creative, period 🙂 I recently saw something on the benefits of doodling, too (though I never do!) 🙂


    • You are an artist and you never doodle? Seriously?! Do you have your students doodle? I say, experiment by doodling for one month, every day or every other day, and see what you can mine when you look back on it in 6 months.


      • lol, first, Sue—I have no students 🙂 I’m not a teacher, though I HAVE taught people things over the years 🙂 For me, it is a very rare thing to be sitting idly and doodling. I did it more as a teenager, and probably the only time I do it now is if I’m on hold on the phone and am not in a place where I’d have something else to do while waiting. I typically only do artwork when I have a need to design something or storyboarding a book or whatever. I do think it sounds like a way of helping to loosen up your mind and possibly expand your thoughts.


    • I agree, it is a great idea for a boy (or a girl, or a wolf, or a boy wolf). And you don’t need to doodle, you can write or even make an exquisite drawing – a masterpiece! if you like. 😀


  2. This sounds so cool. I want to try it. Drawing is also very good for getting inside creative brain, and being be able to write. And keeping the journal would just be great fun.
    Thanks, Sue, for the great review.


    • Do it! Pick up a blank notebook, graph paper notebook, or a small sketchbook and just DO IT! You have a week or more to doodle, so pick up–have your hubby pick up a notebook for you and start it. Today! I’ll check up on your progress next week. 🙂


  3. I agree – what a great way to transition, especially bor boys that would rather die than keep a diary. A couple of years ago, I made a New Years resolution to draw a picture every day. At the end of the year, it was a diary of pictures. So much fun.


    • Oo, Genevieve, I really like that! I use a blank (unlined) journal so I can draw, but I all too seldom actually do draw. Maybe a little resolution would help.


    • That is what I thought too. Not very many boys will keep a diary, but hand them a journal and they might take to it. They can make their own “Wimpy Kid” book.


    • You did that for one year? Why did you stop? I bet you came up with some story ideas, maybe for picture books? This could be used by a writer to scratch out ideas. Hm, maybe I’ll do that. I certainly cannot give this to the library or a school with my doodles in it. Genevieve, you should get back to those doodles a day. It sounds like a terrific idea. There is a group of illustrators that draw a doodle-a-day during November. Anyone can join. (I don’t recall the link, sorry)


      • I’ve heard of Doodle a Day. I only did my drawing experiment for a year, but you’d be surprised how it makes you see things differently. I remember seeing a duck at the park one day and saying to myself, “That’s what I’m going to draw tonight.” It keeps you on the lookout for subjects. Keep in mind that I draw like a 3 year old, so don’t visualize my drawing books as some magnificent work of art. It was fun, though. And yes I did get some story/poetry ideas from it.


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