"One day a dot appeared.
And it was so excited to be there
that it burst."
There you have it--the Big Bang in 16 words, concise and fundamentally accurate, yet simple enough for a young child to grasp. That's the bang that starts off Ian Lendler's book, "One Day a Dot: The Story of You, the Universe, and Everything."
And it only gets better. Holding your hand all the way--from the origins of the universe, to the appearance and evolution of life on Earth, to the wonders of human innovation--this book guides you through one incredible tipping point after another.
The whole evolutionary shebang is further enhanced by highly appealing and accessible art from Eisner Award-winning team Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. The muted color palate--a soft gray punctuated with warm blends of red, blue, yellow, and green of undefinable hue--feels both solid and soothing. The figures are highly graphic in design, and pop off the page. Yet nothing looks computer generated. You can see the ink skipping across the paper fibers. If this isn't hand-drawn, it sure looks like it. Despite the figures' simplicity, a sense of enormous empathy goes out to our two main characters (if the book has any)--the "little fur-thing" and later, the new fur-thing without sharp teeth, or claws, or warm fur. That pensive creature with the big brain.
Just when you thought this book couldn't get any better, it goes so far as to try and explain why the passing on of knowledge to our children is important. And then, a child appears! And that is YOU, the reader! The whole creation package tapers back down to the personal, and finally ties into a final philosophical question about the one unanswerable question--"Where did that first dot come from?" It's brilliant.
So, what's my recommendation in a nutshell? Go get this beautiful book! It's accessible narrative nonfiction for young readers on a complex topic. It's the total package.