October 11, 2018


The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer and Ekua Holmes is a magical book that must be experienced to be fully understood and appreciated.

The Stuff of Stars takes readers to the beginning of time, when there was only darkness and a speck of dust that would eventually become our universe. Then BANG! Time begins and clouds of gas swirl together, colliding, expanding, creating stars and planets. But like Rome, the universe wasn't built in a day, and Bauer offers readers multiple touch points for understanding how we, as humans, came much much later, and how everything in our universe comes from the stuff of stars.

It's hard to know where to start with these illustrations, for as incredible as the text is—and it's pretty incredible—Holmes' images are intensely captivating. She created the illustrations with hand-marbled paper and collage, which is entirely appropriate: look at how everything blends together and yet remains its own distinct self. Just like we are one with the stars, every part of Holmes' illustrations is a smaller piece of a much larger whole, and everything is connected to everything else. Holmes literally builds on past images to create new ones, and the final spread (which is essentially the same as the dust jacket) incorporates all of the colors and textures we have seen throughout. An immaculate interpretation of a concept that is generally very hard to understand.

The Stuff of Stars published from Candlewick in September. And here's a peek underneath the dust jacket!

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