Elin Kelsey’s You Are Stardust encourages our return to nature, exploring the amazing connections we have with our planet

Elin Kelsey, You Are Stardust. Artwork by Soyeon Kim

Published 2012 by Owlkids Books, 32p


You Are Stardust is a beautiful picture book that blends poetry and science to explore the amazing connections we have with the planet that we inhabit. How else to better teach children about the world than by showing them the wonders of life!

You are stardust.

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

the author begins her story.  An environmental writer, Elin Kelsey advocates for observing and listening to the world to understand who we are and where we come from.

Copyright: Soyeon Kim

You started life as a single cell.

So did all other creatures on planet Earth.

Copyright: Soyeon Kim

Water is for fish what a mother’s womb is for her unborn child. It is water that witnessed millions of years of existence, swirling in a glass or filling puddles for dinosaurs to drink. In time people emancipated and alienated from nature but we have never completely lost connections with it. Teaching younger generations to stop and listen to the world around them we build their confidence, strengths and relationships. Building their knowledge we reduce their fears and anxieties; proving their bonding with nature we restore their sense of belonging.

Inside your brain, electricity stronger than lightning powers your every thought.


Your body constantly changes. New cells line your stomach every three days. You’ll replace your skin 100 times by the time you turn 10.


You know how it feels to be a good friend and so do other animals. Bats and sperm whales get their friends to babysit.

Copyright: Soyeon Kim

It is not only the text that is special and profound but also the artwork. Toronto-based Korean artist Soyeon Kim’s dioramas are magic. Though unusual the illustrations complete Kelsey’s philosophical text, creating a one-of-a-kind atmosphere – vivid, playful and absorbing.

Complement You Are Stardust with Isabel Minhós Martins’s Coming and Going, an inspirational picture book on becoming better by observing nature.


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