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Review of One Day a Dot

One Day a Dot
by Ian Lendler; illus. by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb
Primary    First Second/Roaring Brook    40 pp.
4/18    978-1-62672-244-6    $17.99

The book’s tagline (“the story of you, the universe, and everything”) aptly captures the all-encompassing scope of this ambitious, whirlwind tour of the Big Bang, the formation of the solar system, and the origins and evolution of life on Earth. Although the timeline unfolds unevenly, compressing billions of years of astronomical history and elongating periods of evolution concerning mammals and humans, the story touches on important basic science in accessible and discussion-provoking ways. The metaphorical “dot” provides a touchpoint as the narrative jumps around, standing in for subatomic particles, unicellular organisms, a wayward asteroid, and Earth itself. Comics-style illustrations in subdued earth tones, including full pages and panel sequences, depict a wide variety of organisms and landscapes and extend the dot concept. The book ends on a fundamental question of existence for science and nonscience alike. The illustrations show a child holding a crayon, and the text asks: “Where did that first dot come from?” A timeline appears on the back endpapers.

From the July/August 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards.

Danielle J. Ford About Danielle J. Ford

Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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