The Smallest Spot of a Dot

The Little Ways We’re Different, The Big Ways We’re the Same

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Pub Date 31 Jan 2023 | Archive Date 14 Feb 2023

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Now a New York Times bestseller! Using child-friendly language, this playful picture book explains how genetics make each person unique and celebrates how we are more alike than different and are all part of the human race. In The Smallest Spot of a Dot: The Little Ways We’re Different, The Big Ways We’re the Same, Linsey Davis, bestselling children’s author, Emmy-winning correspondent, and host for ABC News, together with co-author Michael Tyler, encourages children to find their own unique dot with sweet, rhyming prose.

”Only .1% of our genes make us uniquely who we are. We are 99.9% identical, alike, the same—equal. This book is 100% about that truth.”

Combining whimsical rhymes and Lucy Fleming’s engaging art, The Smallest Spot of a Dot is:

  • An inspiring story of connection, equality, and acceptance
  • Multicultural, multiracial children’s picture book that recognizes our similarities and our uniqueness
  • Great for classroom use as children explore genetics, DNA, and individuality
  • The perfect read-aloud for kids ages 4–8
  • A unique gift for birthdays and holidays, or a back-to-school treat


New York Times bestselling author Linsey Davis is also the author of The World Is Awake, One Big Heart, Stay This Way Forever, and How High Is Heaven.

Now a New York Times bestseller! Using child-friendly language, this playful picture book explains how genetics make each person unique and celebrates how we are more alike than different and are all...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780310748809
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 74 members

Featured Reviews

What a gorgeous tale of how we are all different yet are all made up of the same basic elements. We may look different but are all human. A beautiful, multicultural representation for children that explains in the most simple form what a gene is. The Smallest Spot of a Dot is definitely a book I will be adding to my classroom.

Thank you NetGalley and Zonderkidz for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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The Smallest Spot of a Dot is a really sweet books abut genes and how we are so much more alike than different. I liked all the diverse characters, and all the fun dots! It wasn't too science heavy, even if it mentioned DNA. It was like a warm hug!

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What an amazing book! This belongs in every classroom and on every child’s bookshelf. This book helps children understand how they are formed, but also shows many different nationalities. I love that it included many differences that they may encounter like glasses or wheelchair bound friends. It was very colorful illustrations, and just the right length to keep attention until the end. Great book!

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A beautiful visualization of genetics, DNA, and how we are mostly the same, and yet all unique. The entire book is done in well-paced rhyme, which is always a hit in my household. The entire idea of DNA is broken down and explained very well, so I think kids even as young as 4 years could use this as a start to their understanding of biology.

Genes are represented by dots (it would make more sense for a gene to look like a squiggly line, but the book is working on an awkward scale, so I'll let it pass), and so circles and dots feature prominently throughout the artwork. Even on pages with smaller art pieces depicting humans, the artist fills out the background with vibrant, multi-color dots, making the whole book lively and visually pleasing. The humans depicted show the great diversity possible from out shared genes, once more calling forward the theme of connection through basic ingredients.

I think the one part I have to question is a line about genes determining what food a kid likes. Looking it up, there's a lot of debate on if taste is more determined by genetics or environment and exposure. But it's not an entirely WRONG fact, just one that needs more context. Which is hard to do in a picture book.

Advanced review copy provided by the publisher.

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Teaching children about Genes and DNA, how we are different but also 99.9% the same or ‘Gene-dots and a twisty, twirly ladder of string’ - as they are called in the book. - This story takes you on that journey, explaining everything on the way. showing how we are one of a kind. ‘One-of-a-kind dot’ that makes you, you and me, well me. It is written in a very nice flowing manner, with easy to digest sentences for children and the illustrations are CUTE, VERY CUTE and oh so beautifully done. my absolute favourite is page 26, the illustrations are simply beautiful and calming and the sentence that belongs to it is: ‘Just ONE TINY DOT makes you different from me, But we all still belong to just ONE FAMILY.’ and it things this is how it should be. different but equal.

a big Thank you to Linsey, Michael & Lucy for sharing this MASTERPIECE! I’m totally in love.

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Thank you NetGalley and Linsey Davis. We read this one for story time last night and let me give you the compliments from the 1st grader first. She loved that the book rhymed, that she had to find the dot, all the friends playing and how different they are and that you mentioned freckles since she has a ton. Now from a Mom perspective, this book is so cute story wise and the illustrations are phenomenal. I love how it shows everyone is different but similar. This is one I will add to her teachers bookshelf once it releases.

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I wasn't expecting this book to be a child-sized introduction to genetics, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was! The intro may hook fans of Press Here, but the message is less about the dots and more about our simultaneous individuality and shared humanity. Explaining shared DNA and unique genetic identities to children is a tall order, but this book attempts to do so in a way that seems both age-appropriate and not entirely unscientific, which I appreciate! We'll definitely add this to our collection come January.

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I received an electronic ARC from Zonderkidz through NetGalley.
Davis explains how genes work in a way younger readers will understand. She shares about the small dots inside each person and how they make each of us unique. I appreciate that she also shares how much everyone is alike too. Our dots are mostly the same with a few that give us our own traits. The illustrations capture the individuality of each character and how they interact with each other. A wonderful book for families to share.

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OMG, these illustrations are too cute for words! I love this idea that we are made of the same stuff inside but it all magically makes us different. What an important message for kiddos who feel different or 'other.' And so so important for the people making them feel like that!

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What is not to love about this book? This is the perfect diversity book. Great for all ages and a perfect reminder that truly we are all 99.9% alike. While still highlighting that the extra .01 percent is truly special and helps make you the amazing person you are meant to be. No matter who you are or what you are faced with our tiny dots bring us all together and help create a beautiful world. This is such a perfect book for diversity and one I look forward to adding to my story time arsenal. Thank you so very much to Zonderkidz for publishing such a beautiful book and for allowing me to read an advance copy.

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Knowing that we are truly all the same beneath the surface is easy to talk about, but to help children understand the concept by beautiful illustrations and by taking us down to the tiniest of matter isn't easily done. This book exceeds anything I could have asked for. Despite receiving an e-ARC from Zonderkidz, NetGalley and the author, I will be adding this to my personal library and my own gifting list. I loved this book. All opinions are my own.

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I really enjoyed this book! What a creative way to explain DNA and genes to children!
I also really liked and respected that the author showed much diversity within the illustrations. Not only were there children of different nationalities, but also disabilities and religious differences were shown as well.
Overall, I felt this was a very good book that promotes diversity as well as our similarities as humans and why we should be kind to each other. Very well done.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC!
Review will be posted on my instagram lizzies_little_library_

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