One Day a Dot: The Story of You, The Universe, and Everything

illus. by Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb. 40p. chron. First Second. Apr. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626722446.
K-Gr 3—With playful words and dynamic illustrations, this book explores more than 13 billion years. Simple language introduces key geological and biological events, often with gentle personification. The big bang is covered in three pages: "One day a dot appeared. And it was so excited to be there that it burst." Descriptions continue in that simplified vein: the first bacteria is a lonely green dot that "started a family," for instance, and the first mammal is "a little fur thing." Occasional repetition aids with continuity and reinforces concepts. The result is an engaging story that young readers will easily comprehend. The pencil-and-ink illustrations, colored digitally, have a retro feel and provide humorous but useful visual presentations. One spread portrays four dismayed prehistoric creatures watching "a big dot" (asteroid) that's about to hit "the blue dot" (Earth); the facing page depicts an array of fossils, plus one surviving mammal below. A time line at the end includes date ranges, brief descriptions, and spot illustrations for visual reference. It also corrects the misleading statement from the main text that just "one thing survived" the K-T Extinction Event.
VERDICT An accessible, appealing introduction to the planet's history and a solid companion to Tom Sullivan's I Used To Be a Fish.

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