And I Smile is a children's book inspired by the generosity and thoughtfulness of Dakota Willink's daughter. It's part of The Dahlia Project, a series of works that vary in genre, in which all embrace diverse characters and current day world issues. Portions of the proceeds from each work in The Dahlia Project will go to various non-profit organizations.  50% of the proceeds from And I Smile will be split between the following organizations:

The Young Center

The Young Center is an organization that is dedicated to helping young immigrant children. They are a champion for the rights and best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children, making sure that wherever they land, whether here in the U.S. or in their home country, they are safe. You can read more about the Young Center by clicking HERE.

The NOW Foundation

The NOW Foundation focuses on a broad range of women’s rights issues, including economic justice, pay equity, racial discrimination, women’s health and body image, women with disabilities, reproductive rights and justice, family law, term paper help, marriage and family formation rights of same-sex couples, representation of women in the media, and global feminist issues. You can read more about The NOW Foundation by clicking HERE.


And I Smile
Written by Marie Christy (Dakota Willink)
Illustrated by Jennifer Slater

"On the day you are born, I count your fingers and count your toes. 
Ten of each. Just like me. 
Your tiny eyes stare up at me.
And I smile."

So begins the story for children and adults alike. It's a tale about a mother teaching her growing child about the many differences that make this wonderful world, while focusing on the universal themes of diversity, kindness, and compassion.