Cover image for The stuff of stars
Title:
The stuff of stars
Title:
The stuff of stars
Personal Author:
Publisher Info:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, [2018]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Abstract:
"Before the universe was formed, before time and space existed, there was . . . nothing. But then . . . BANG! Stars caught fire and burned so long that they exploded, flinging stardust everywhere. And the ash of those stars turned into planets. Into our Earth. And into us. In a poetic text, Marion Dane Bauer takes readers from the trillionth of a second when our universe was born to the singularities that became each one of us, while vivid illustrations by Ekua Holmes capture the void before the Big Bang and the ensuing life that burst across galaxies. A seamless blend of science and art, this picture book reveals the composition of our world and beyond ? and how we are all the stuff of stars."-- Amazon.com.
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Summary

Summary

In an astonishing unfurling of our universe, Newbery Honor winner Marion Dane Bauer and Caldecott Honor winner Ekua Holmes celebrate the birth of every child.

Before the universe was formed, before time and space existed, there was . . . nothing. But then . . . BANG! Stars caught fire and burned so long that they exploded, flinging stardust everywhere. And the ash of those stars turned into planets. Into our Earth. And into us. In a poetic text, Marion Dane Bauer takes readers from the trillionth of a second when our universe was born to the singularities that became each one of us, while vivid illustrations by Ekua Holmes capture the void before the Big Bang and the ensuing life that burst across galaxies. A seamless blend of science and art, this picture book reveals the composition of our world and beyond -- and how we are all the stuff of stars.


Author Notes

Marion Dane Bauer was born in Oglesby, Illinois. She attended community college first, in her home town, and then went to the University of Missouri when she was a junior to study journalism. She quickly realized that journalism was not for her and changed her focus to the humanities and a degree in English literature. She switched one last time to focus on teaching english, which she did when she graduated college.

After her children were born, Bauer decided to try her hand at writing. She started out with a children's picture book, but discovered that youg adult novels were more to her taste. After making a career out of writing, Bauer became the first Faculty Chair at Vermont College for the only Master of Fine Arts in Writing program devoted exclusively to writing for children and young adults.

Bauer is the author of more than forty books for young people. She has won many awards, including a Jane Addams Peace Association Award for her novel Rain of Fire and an American Library Association Newbery Honor Award for On My Honor and the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for the body of her work. Her picture book My Mother is Mine was a New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Poetic language and dazzling illustrations link the big bang to a child's birth in this striking picture book. Starting "in the deep, deep dark" where "a speck floated, invisible as thought, weighty as God," lyrical language describes the big bang ("in a trillionth of a second.our universe was born)," then moves to the creation of stars, planets, and life. Hand-marbled paper and collage images brilliantly capture the movement and mystery of the words. Opening spreads of black and purple swirls dramatically shift to blasts of shapes and colors as the universe evolves. Reminders of what was not yet created are interspersed: ".no oceans, no mountains, no hippopotami," while some of the specific life forms mentioned can be spotted within the shapes and lines of the collages. The dramatic conclusion features the birth of the listener, when "another speck floated, invisible as dreams, special as Love." That speck is depicted as a white dot against black, visually mirroring the speck that started it all on the first page, but this time it's placed within a long strip, suggesting a birth canal. The narrative ties neatly back to the evolution described earlier: "Your hair once the carbon in a leaf." It also connects the child to other life forms: "You and the velvet moss, the caterpillars, the lions." The triumphant final spread shows parent and child in silhouette, gazing at the vivid swoops of line and color that suggest planets, stars, and galaxies. VERDICT An inspiring match of writing and art. Perfect for one-on-one sharing.-Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

In spare, supple verse, Newbery Honor author Bauer (Winter Dance) tells a big story-that of everything there is, how it all came to be, and how the matter that makes up the universe is the same as the matter that makes "All of us/ the stuff of stars." The universe starts with a single speck, "invisible as thought,/ weighty as God," before it explodes, forming stars and planets. But the planet we live on is a long way off yet, the narrator tells a beloved child: "no oceans,/ no mountains,/ no hippopotami." Finally, Earth's magical combination of conditions lets it turn "that starry stuff/ into mitochondria,/ jellyfish,/ spiders," and, eventually, another speck grows into something else special: "YOU burst into the world." How to make these abstract ideas visible? In a brilliant stroke of visual imagination, Caldecott Honor artist Holmes (Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets) uses the swirls and waves of marbled paper to represent the ebb and flow of cosmic matter. Her spreads appear to move and shift on a grand scale, while Bauer suggests that, just possibly, the power of creation and the power of love are not so different. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Carl Sagan's famous quote, We are made of star stuff, is brought to life in a captivating picture book that will be cherished by people of all ages. Mesmerizing illustrations are a perfect fit for this story, which tells of the beginning of our universe and of life itself, starting with a small floating speck that suddenly explodes: In a trillionth of a second . . . our universe was born. All the colors of the rainbow appear in Holmes' (Out of Wonder, 2017) glorious creations, which use hand-marbled paper and collage, at times resembling batik and sometimes oil on water with swirls of unmixed colors. Placed over some illustrations are collage figures of humans, fossils, and animals. In one particularly lovely moment, the beginning of life in the womb subtly echoes the beginning of the universe: Then one day . . . in the dark, in the dark, in the deep deep dark, another speck floated, invisible as dreams, special as Love. Bauer's (Winter Dance, 2017) lyrical free-verse love song to Earth, to the listener, and to all creatures is accessible to everyone living on one lucky planet, a fragile blue ball we call Earth.--Maryann Owen Copyright 2018 Booklist