by Elin Kelsey
illustrated by Soyeon Kim
Publisher: Owlkids Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
You Are Stardust begins by introducing the idea that every tiny atom in our bodies came from a star that exploded long before we were born. From its opening pages, the book suggests that we are intimately connected to the natural world; it compares the way we learn to speak to the way baby birds learn to sing, and the growth of human bodies to the growth of forests. Award-winning author Elin Kelsey — along with a number of concerned parents and educators around the world — believes children are losing touch with nature. This innovative picture book aims to reintroduce children to their innate relationship with the world around them by sharing many of the surprising ways that we are all connected to the natural world.
Grounded in current science, this extraordinary picture book provides opportunities for children to use their imaginations and wonder about some big ideas. Soyeon Kim’s incredible diorama art enhances the poetic text, and her creative process is explored in full on the reverse side of the book’s jacket, which features comments from the artist. Young readers will want to pore over each page of this book, exploring the detailed artwork and pondering the message of the text, excited to find out just how connected to the Earth they really are.
(synopsis from Goodreads)
This is a very, very cool book. While it might be better appreciated by older children than toddlers, it would still be a worthwhile addition to a child's library; they'll grow into the text one day (and, in the meantime, there is plenty to look at on the pages).
The message that runs throughout the book is one of interconnectedness. We are part of nature, and we have so much in common with the world that we live on and the creatures we share it with. I thought it was a neat message for a kids' book, and the fact that it's all backed up by science makes the message even more powerful.
The illustrations were also like nothing I've ever seen. It was as if the illustrator drew and built tiny little characters and then placed them into mixed-media settings... and then photographed the whole thing to give selective focus to certain areas of the illustrations. It's a great effect and gives the book a really unique look.
I really enjoyed You Are Stardust, and I would definitely recommend it!
Salt still flows through your
veins, your sweat, and your tears.
The sea within you is as salty
as the ocean.
Recommended to: older children who are starting to become interested in the world and their place in it
Overall: 4.33 out of 5