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The stuff of stars
Book
2018
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Trade Reviews

  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

  Kirkus Review

The stories of the births of the universe, the planet Earth, and a human child are told in this picture book.Bauer begins with cosmic nothing: "In the dark / in the deep, deep dark / a speck floated / invisible as thought / weighty as God." Her powerful words build the story of the creation of the universe, presenting the science in poetic free verse. First, the narrative tells of the creation of stars by the Big Bang, then the explosions of some of those stars, from which dust becomes the matter that coalesces into planets, then the creation of life on Earth: a "lucky planetneither too far / nor too nearits yellow starthe Sun." Holmes' digitally assembled hand-marbled paper-collage illustrations perfectly pair with the textin fact the words and illustrations become an inseparable whole, as together they both delineate and suggestthe former telling the story and the latter, with their swirling colors suggestive of vast cosmos, contributing the atmosphere. It's a stunning achievement to present to readers the factual events that created the birth of the universe, the planet Earth, and life on Earth with such an expressive, powerful creativity of words paired with illustrations so evocative of the awe and magic of the cosmos. But then the story goes one brilliant step further and gives the birth of a child the same beginning, the same sense of magic, the same miracle.Wow. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
The 2019 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner <br> <br> 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. <br> <br> 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.
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