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

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

Ian Lendler, illus. by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. First Second, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-244-6

Lendler (Saturday) tells a creation story based on evolutionary biology, using the “dot” of the title to refer both to things in the sky (“One of these new dots—the third one from the sun—was a very special shade of blue”) and to microscopic organisms (“The green dot was lonely”). In a style evocative of a documentary film, Paroline and Lamb’s silkscreenlike artwork in quiet earth tones portrays the progression of creatures from simple to complex. When Lendler gets to dinosaurs (“land-fish”), catastrophe strikes: “Then one day a dot fell out of the sky.... The explosion turned the whole sky red.” All the land-fish disappear, but mammals flourish, giving way to humans, who boast something new—“a big brain.” Fur-clad hunters evolve into a contemporary biracial couple celebrating the birth of their child: “They had families. They had you.” Lendler ends with a final puzzle: “There was one question that they could not answer... Where did that first dot come from?” Spirited debates are sure to follow. Ages 4–8. Agent: Tanya McKinnon, McKinnon McIntyre. (Apr.)