The Stuff of Stars

Stardust! We are made of stardust! What a mind-boggling concept! Today’s Perfect Picture Book takes a complex topic, makes it beautifully simple, and aims it straight at the heart. Amazing!

Title: The Stuff of Stars9780763678838

Written by: Marion Dane Bauer
Illustrated by: Ekua Holmes
Candlewick 2018
Suitable for ages: 5-10
Themes/topics: universe, nature, stardust

In the dark,
in the dark,
in the deep, deep dark,
a speck floated,
invisible as thought,
weighty as God.
There was yet no time,
there was yet no space.
No up,
no down,
no edge,
no center.

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.

Activities and Resources:
Art project: Make marbled paper! (uses food coloring) and (uses water color paints)

Which spread is your favorite? What do you like about the art? What words do you like?

Why I like this book:
Powerful, lyrical language depicts the beginning of the universe, and in the midst of this process of creation, we are reminded of our place in it all and our life-giving Earth with miracles like violets and crickets,  an incredible contrast to the vast emptiness of space. While learning what is out there in the nothingness – we also reflect on what there isn’t. The narrative slowly works its way toward “you” and unites us with all that’s ever been. Such a HUGE concept, mysterious, amazing, mind boggling – brought to heart. WOW! With gloriously colorful abstract illustrations by one of my favorite illustrators, Ekua Holmes.


Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent activities and resources.

Visit the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge on Kid Lit Frenzy on Wednesdays for more great nonfiction books for kids!


9 thoughts on “The Stuff of Stars

  1. What a beautiful book that shows how all life is connected. Timely. As we celebrated the Moon Walk this past week, it was interesting to listen to the comments/realizations from the astronauts as they gazed back at earth. Will check out this book. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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