Monday, November 5, 2018

Review: The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer and Ekua Holmes


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.

Note that "poetic text" - I read the book before reading the description, and one of my first thoughts was that this might belong in the poetry section! Beautifully written, slow and quiet then exciting and loud, with Holmes's illustrations matching perfectly. So many art extensions begging to happen.

And then
the beginning
of the beginning
of all beginnings

One of my friends in college was a dual major in art and chemistry, and he liked to explain that they were really the same things. This book brought him and that comment to mind. The language, concepts, colors and textures are all rich and deep. I found myself running my fingers across the pictures, expecting to feel texture.

This is a beautiful volume you will find yourself re-reading and leafing through over and over again.

Gifting ideas:

It's that time of year again! Gift this to your science-minded child with a microscope or telescope. Gift it to the artist with a set of oil paints and good heavy paper.

*** This book has been nominated for a Cybils Award. I am one of many first-round panelists, and my opinions should not be construed to mean inclusion on or exclusion from the final short list.

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