Stardust Child Cover

Stardust Child

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By Joann Leonard

Why? What? Where? How?


Children are full of questions as their minds are busy figuring out the intricacies and immensities of themselves and their universe. Stardust Child was inspired by the words of renowned astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

“We are biologically connected to everything in the world. We are all, not figuratively, but literally, made of stardust.”

The story of Stardust Child celebrates that we all share the same essence despite limiting labels and cultural differences. Picture by picture, the story instills the concept of our oneness, our ecological interdependence, and the unique light that each of us brings to the world.


Keep asking questions!

"A charming, uplifting adventure, as magical for adults as it will be for children, Stardust Child manages at once to be both simple & profound, drawing a line connecting each of our hearts with the heart of the universe. You'll never see yourself, your friends, or the world in the same way: from now on, you'll always have a little Stardust in your eyes." Bellamy Young (actress, singer, starring in award-winning role as First Lady Mellie Grant in ABC series SCANDAL)

"Stardust Child is a quietly revolutionary children's book based upon the words of Neil deGrasse Tyson: 'We are biologically connected to everything in the world. We are all, not figuratively, but literally, made of stardust.' Modeling interconnectedness, the narrative of Stardust Child follows the poetic form of The House That Jack Built, substituting such narrative clues as follows: This is the stardust that made the atoms of the farmer who milks the cow that makes the milk that Stardust Child drinks. The story expands exponentially in the stardusted middle: These are the stars that shine in the night sky over the sea where the clouds form to water the grass the cow eats to make the milk that Stardust Child drinks. Stunning, galactic scenes of starburst colors show the interconnectedness of all life in the universe against a background of oceans, stars, moon, and sun, lighting up all the skies. Gradually the bright images of rainbow colored stardust become integrated into the black outlined forms of the cow, the farmer, and the Stardust Child. Stardust Child is a beautiful interpretation of the idea that 'we are biologically connected to everything in the world,' in the words of legendary astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Children of elementary school age and up will enjoy Stardust Child along with their parents. Midwest Book Review, October 2016

"I love this book! And really wish there were more science-inspired children's books on the market. This charming, wonderfully illustrated book expresses a deep, profound fact of nature. And does so in a way that inspires awe and reflection in minds of all ages." Nate Brown, Professor of Mathmatics, Penn State University

"Using a nursery rhyme narrative, Stardust Child draws connecting lines, in both words and illustrations, to teach that all things in the world are interlinked. With equal doses of humor and whimsy, the cadence of the Leonard’s tale (“This is the stardust… that made the atoms of the farmer … who milks the cow …”) is infectious. Schroder’s illustrations are captivating. The world and its people are inter-connected by the atoms that made us all -- a science lesson and a humanitarian one, in one package." Topsy N. Smalley, Librarian, Cabrillo College

"With beautiful illustrations, "Stardust Child" is a magical way to help discuss with children how things in life are linked together and how everything comes from stars. My daughters loved looking at the pictures, and I liked introducing them to these ideas." Beth, engineer and mother of a three- and a five-year-old.

“A delightful story arousing worthwhile awareness in both child and adult readers. Bright, beautiful, exciting art…” Eleanor Stitt, Children’s Librarian, New York Public Library