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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Older Than The Stars

Older Than The Stars
by Karen C. Fox
illustrated by Nancy Davis

Ages: 4-8

Publisher: Charlesbridge Pub Inc

You are older than the dinosaurs. 
Older than the earth. 
Older than the sun and the other planets. 
You are older than the stars. 
You are as old as the universe itself.

Thus starts this wonderful book Older than the Stars by veteran science writer Karen Fox and continues to intrigue and capture the young minds with chockful of information about the universe we happen to inhabit.

A là This is the house that Jack built, the cumulative story unfolds with
This is the BANG when the world began.

The illustrations on the page is animated with spiral scribbles and the letters B, A, N, G sort of emanating from the center of the double-page spread and radiating outwards, giving a sense of what the Big Bang must've felt like.

These are the bits that were born in the bang when the world began, the book continues with each page adding a bit more information about cosmic activities that went on to create the world we inhabit today.

Each double-page spread features bold art work with text arranged around and about the image highlighting and complementing the poem adding to the impact.

Plus a little information box on each page gives stark facts in simple enough words for the older kids: The bits zigged this way and that way, and sometimes they bumped into each other. When this happened they stuck together and formed something called atoms. Almost everything in the world is made up of atoms.

As the cumulative poem builds up, we learn why we are older than the stars: our bodies are made up of remnants of that primeval dust which is all there was and has been, getting recycled over and over into all the forms that has evolved over the age of the universe.

The resident six year old found the book interesting. Some of the scientific facts are probably beyond her grasp at her current level, but enough of it is presented in a crisp and clear manner that held her interest. Of course, the rhyming text by itself easily fascinated both the 3- and the 6- year old at home.

At the back of the book, there is a Time Line of the Universe and Glossary.

[image source: http://www.olderthanthestars.com]

[Cross-posted at Saffron Tree for our annual festival CROCUS 2011]

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