Kid Lit Review of “You Are Stardust” by Elin Kelsey

I had to wait for weeks for a chance to read this from the library, so I had a feeling it would be exceptional, and it is!

The author of this book has a PhD in environmental science education, and works magic in this overview of the ways in which people are an integral part of the natural world.


Three-dimensional dioramas by the artist Soyeon Kim add a sense of wonder to the amazingly brief but cogent, understandable, and yet lyrical text.

“Like fish deep in the ocean,
you called salt water home.
You swam inside the salty sea
Of your mother’s womb.

Salt still flows through your
veins, your sweat, and your tears.
The sea within you is as salty
as the ocean.”

Picture 1

Kids will be amazed to learn some of the fascinating facts about the ways we and nature are similar:

“Inside your brain, electricity
stronger than lightening
powers your every thought.

You sneeze with the force of a tornado.
Wind rockets from your nose quicker
than a cheetah sprints.”


Through these and other passages, children learn how connected we all are, but without didacticism or depressing statistics on the depredation of the earth. And of course, I’ve always loved the thought that we all came from stardust:

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

The illustrations by Kim are so creative and whimsical; I really wish I could hang mobiles based on her art around my house! (And there’s an app for that! Check out this additional feature offered by Owlbooks, here.)


Evaluation: This is an excellent presentation for kids of a complex subject in a way that will not lose their interest, but rather will amaze and delight them, and hopefully entice them to investigate further on their own.

Rating: 5/5

Published by Owlkids Books, Inc., 2012

About rhapsodyinbooks

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5 Responses to Kid Lit Review of “You Are Stardust” by Elin Kelsey

  1. Beth F says:

    Wow! This looks like fabulous book. One of my nephews would have devoured this when he was young.

  2. BermudaOnion says:

    That book looks stunningly beautiful!!

  3. sandynawrot says:

    Another 5 star rating! This looks FABULOUS.

  4. stacybuckeye says:

    You always recommend the best kids books! I want them all.

  5. Thanks for this review! I just requested it at the library.

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