You Are Stardust


You Are Stardust

by Elin Kelsy, artwork by Soyeon Kim

Find it at: Your Library | Amazon | Indiebound

Published: Owlkids Books (September 11, 2012)

Recommended Reading Age: 4 & up

In a nutshell: You Are Stardust explores the cosmological concept that essentially everything in the universe came from stardust, a concept simplified through Elin Kelsy’s lyrical text and artist Soyeon Kim’s incredible, mixed-media dioramas. A breathtaking picture book written for children, with a message meant for everyone.

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

The book opens with an image of a star exploding and very tiny versions of our bodies that came from a star which exploded many years ago (Big Bang Theory).

Each page continues on into how we are connected from that star.

To the water, to other animals, living and extinct.

To the environment, to the seasons, and to the whole of planet Earth.

I’m pretty sure I held my breath the entire first time I read this book. The illustrations, the text… It’s all sensational.

What I enjoy most about this book is that it prods the reader, young or old, to be aware. Be aware of the nature you’re connected to, the past, present, and future, the seasons, and how the most simple act of a thought or a breath is a part of something greater than yourself.  In the diorama, everything is held by strings, symbolic of the fact that everything is connected in one way way or another. In a note from the author at the end of the book, Elin Kelsy writes, “I wrote this book as a celebration — one to honor the extraordinary ways in which all of us simply are nature.” In a technology driven world, where a disconnect between ourselves and nature is perhaps greater than ever, You Are Stardust reminds us to be still and marvel at the nature of you and the world around you.

Two thumbs up. Way up.

On the Owlkids Books website, you’ll find a You Are Stardust microsite specifically devoted to this book with a variety of resources including:

Link to the You Are Stardust app download,

a note from the author, Elin Kelsy,

a behind-the-scenes video documenting Soyeon Kim’s creative process creating of the book,  as well as lesson plans for teachers, DIY diorama craft, author and artist Q & A, and a recommended reading list. I recommend you visit and take a look around.

Don’t take my word for it: Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast



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  1. […] world of stars illustration reminds me of the book, You Are Stardust. Elin Kelsey would […]

  2. […] wish there were more of them. They tend to be infrequent gems that pop up year to year. Last year, You Are Stardust  was this gem. This summer, when Hank Finds an Egg was released, I whooped for joy as it is yet […]

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