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Saturday, September 15, 2012

You Are Stardust, written by Elin Kelsey, with artwork by Soyeon Kim. Owlkids, 2012. $$18.95 ages 5 and up

"You learned to speak
the same way baby
birds learn to sing... chatting with your
"Ma ma ma!"
"Tweet tweet tweet!"
Be still.

What an extraordinary book this is! It is perfectly balanced with quiet, thoughtful words and spellbinding, detailed dioramas. It is a book to be shared with awe and wonder between child and adult, and will be made even better each time it is read.

In text that is natural and open, Elin Kelsey brings her scientific knowledge of the earth to young readers. She explains that we are made of  earth, water, air and stardust. Our relationship to the plants and the animals that share our world has been determined since the beginning of time and has evolved naturally over those millions of years:

"You are stardust.
Every tiny atom in your body
came from a star that exploded
long before you were born."

Well aware of her audience and its propensity for thinking big thoughts, the author uses current science to explain the wonder of those connections. We breathe in pollen that might then, when released from our body to the earth, grow a new plant. We grow, shed our hair and do many of the same things that animals do. While it may give us pause, and cause the occasional shiver of disgust, we are home to 'millions of microorganisms.' Eeeew! Being a planet is a nice thought, though!

Soyeon Kim's artwork will draw attention and focus on  the colors, shapes, and materials chosen to give life to the tone of the story and the beauty that is YOU.  There are seven...dynamic, and full of tiny surprises that will bring children back to the book again and again. If you remove the book jacket, you will discover an explanation of the art she has created and be privy to some of those remarkable details.

Elin Kelsey loves this world we live in, and wants her audience to have that same feeling. Don't miss this astonishing book!

"Be still.
Like you, the
Earth breathes."

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