a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics (1963)
Norton Juster
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

This picture book describes the love story of two geometrical figures. It was also made into a cartoon by Chuck Jones (available on YouTube).

Contributed by "westerlyd"

I have loved this book ever since my wonderful mathematical mother introduced me to it as a child. Now that I read it as a student of mathematics, the fun storyline still entertains me.

Contributed by Sally Dulmage

I have used the love story of the dot and the line as a Valentine's treat for algebra students. For the most, they enjoy the mathematical use of phrases, such as, `stretching a point', `the line was on edge', etc. When the line displays his talent of creating mathematical and artistic designs, many students are excited when I tell them that I will teaching them how to curve stitch the circle design. Then there is always a `squiggle' or two who are critical of the story.

Note: By far, the most frequently asked question in e-mail messages I receive from visitors to this site is "Do you know how I can obtain a copy of the film `The Dot and the Line'?" Unfortunately, I do not know of a consistent source. I know that some of the people who asked me were able to obtain copies from the Amazon auction. If you know of any other source, please write to me! (And if you know who owns the film rights to this thing, get them to rerelease it!...Aha! According to Sjaak Kamerling a copy of this film on DVD can now be purchased (as long as one is willing to order a Doris Day movie along with it!)

Contributed by Sjaak Kamerling

On April 26th 2005 a DVD is released with an old Doris Day movie: The glass bottom boat"; there is also a bonus movie on the DVD: "The dot and the line".

[Click here to go to the Amazon page for info about this DVD. -Alex]

Contributed by Kelli Wagstaff

I just wanted to let you know, I had been looking for a copy of The Dot and the Line by Norton Juster (Chuck Jones' animated version) for some time, and was surprised and excited when I read on Mathematical Fiction that it was on a DVD of a Doris Day movie.

What I wanted to let you know is that this information is correct. You can go on Amazon and they have the movie Glass Bottom Boat which indeed does have the Dot and The Line as a bonus.

Thank you for a wonderful resource and website which I will use now as a reading list.

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

btw, for the "dot and the line" story, the nearly 10-minute movie is available on youtube here.

Contributed by Tom L. Smith, Ph.D.

In case this info has not already provided, "The Dot and the Line" is among the animated films in a collection that can be found here.

One of my favorite films and books. I give these as gifts all the time.

More information about this work can be found at
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster / Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
  2. Rapunzel's Etymology of Zero by Katie May (Writer) / Seth Podowitz (Director)
  3. Donald in Mathmagic Land by Hamilton Luske (director)
  4. Sir Cumference and the... by Cindy Neuschwander
  5. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  6. The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland (author) / John O'Brien (illustrator)
  7. The Use of Geometry in the Modern Novel by Norman Clarke
  8. Counting on Frank by Rod Clement
  9. What Are the Odds? by Justin Spitzer (writer) / Matthew Tritt (director)
  10. The Long Chalkboard by Jenny Allen / Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
Ratings for The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
2.67/5 (9 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.92/5 (12 votes)

GenreHumorous, Fantasy, Children's Literature,
MediumFilms, Available Free Online, Picture Book,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)