One Day a Dot: The Story of You, the Universe, and Everything by Ian Lendler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: April 17th, 2018
Publisher: First Second
Genres & Themes: Picture Books, Children’s Books, Science, Non Fiction, Evolution
One Day a Dot is a beautiful and vibrant picture book that uses the visual motif of circles as to guide young readers through the stages of life on Earth.
This was lovely. Actually lovely. The narration easy to follow, the visuals adorable – if somewhat simple – and the story progressed in an almost lyrical way. It took me maybe two minutes to read it, but those were some enjoyable 120 seconds.
Alright, I’m going to say it right from the start: it doesn’t explain much. I mean, there’s talk of the universe, the sun, the animals who became bigger, then smaller, then bigger again, but those creatures and historic periods are not properly mentioned, meaning that the vocabulary is EXTREMELY vague.
To a kid who has never before heard of the Big Bang or evolution, this book is going to sound like an abstract sort of fairytale with lots of nameless characters and weird interactions (creature eating creature then mating with creature), which is why I recommend reading this one with your child and to actually explain what the author never does.
In one word, it’s too simple, like the visuals. I don’t think there’s one animal mentioned even. It would be easy for anyone to tell a story like this one—a story that doesn’t feel the need to have any kind of proof behind its almost abstract claims—but like I said, it has a lyrical quality to it that is not necessarily seen in all books, and perhaps especially not science ones.
I recommend it to toddlers, maybe three or four-year-olds, because after that age personally I would start talking about evolution with more specific terms than ‘‘a dot ate another dot and became a bigger dot…’’ Still, cute book.
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