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The Smallest Spot of a Dot: The Little Ways We're Different, the Big Ways We're the Same
Linsey Davis and Michael Tyler, illustrations by Lucy Fleming


Linsey Davis, bestselling children’s author, Emmy-winning correspondent, and host for ABC News brings us The Smallest Spot of a Dot: The Little Ways We’re Different, The Big Ways We’re the Same—a playful and poignant picture book that celebrates how we are all part of the human race.

”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 and equality
  • Multicultural, multiracial children’s picture book that recognizes our similarities and our uniqueness
  • The perfect read-aloud for kids ages 4–8
  • A unique gift for birthdays and holidays


Linsey Davis is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and an anchor for ABC News Live Prime, which is ABC News Lives first-ever streaming evening newscast, and weekend World News Tonight on Sundays. She is a correspondent filing reports for World News Tonight, Good Morning America, 20/20, and Nightline and is also the bestselling author of the childrens books The World Is Awake, One Big Heart, Stay This Way Forever, and How High Is Heaven. Linsey lives in New York with her husband and son, who is her biggest inspiration. You can follow her on Instagram @linseytdavis.


With a message celebrating our differences and our sameness, this title for young readers starts with a dot. Each dot represents a gene. Readers are told that we are all made of billions and billions of tiny gene dots. One of these billions is your special dot. It makes each person unique. "The rest of the billions of dots we discussed/ Are exactly the same inside each of us." Our uniqueness and our sameness are highlighted in a multitude of ways through the text and inviting illustrations including a diverse cast of children. The message of this text, that genetically we are 99.9 percent the same, is critical for children to know in a world that seemingly seeks to divide, categorize, and "other" people. VERDICT Useful for multiple lessons from science to social-emotional learning, this title simultaneously encourages readers to find and celebrate that which makes them unique while identifying the similarities that unite us all in a common human family. -- John Scott, School Library Journal

A rhymed celebration of human individuality within our genetic commonality. In simple language, media personality Davis and Tyler (The Skin You Live In, 2005) highlight twin notions, one biophysical, the other more conceptual: We all share “billions and billions of tiny gene-dots,” but there is just one dot each that makes us who we are—“Your me-my-minedot is the who that is ‘You.’ It’s what gives us a hint and a colorful clue / About why you look the way that you do, and why your dot has your only-you hue.” Because that unique dot, the authors go on to claim, governs not only skin color, but facial features, eye color, food preferences, and behavioral tendencies, it actually represents not a single gene but entire chromosomal constellations and even perhaps some epigenetic influences. Still, if this leaves some confusion in its wake that will need later instruction to clear up, the point that for all our “different faces and bodies and names” we are “still 99.9% the same” is a good one to make early and often. Fleming sweetens the presentation even more with a thoroughly diverse cast of, mostly, romping, dancing, and playing children (some of whom use wheelchairs) with outsized heads and big, widely set eyes. -- Kirkus Reviews

[H]  Zonderkidz  /  January 31, 2023

0.5" H x 9.0" L x 11.0" W (1.0 lbs) 32 pages